NOX BOYS “NOX BOYS”

GH-1167
12" LP / CD / Digital
January 24, 2014

If listening to teenage rock bands too often brings to mind the adage about youth being wasted on the young, then the teenage rock bands you’re listening to aren’t the Nox Boys. The Pittsburgh garage-rockers bring a wild, youthful abandon together with big, sophisticated sounds on their self-titled Get Hip debut album. It recalls everything from ’60s originals like The Sonics and The Standells to the current crop of fuzz-rockers like The Black Lips and Broncho — and three of them are still in high school.

Lead vocalist Zack Keim has the swagger of a Them-era Van Morrison on songs like “I Don’t Care Anymore”; his guitar howls in harmony with Bob Powers’ slide guitar somewhere up in the stratosphere on “Mr. No One,” and there’s an irreverent but sincere nod to the innocence of past decades in the hooky pop of “Susie Lee.” The pounding rhythm section is relentless, shaking the floor like a V-8 on nitrous.

Recorded with garage master Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Dirtbombs) in Detroit, Nox Boys is bound to floor critics — especially coming from a crew of teenagers. Where so many contemporary garage bands are thirtysomethings trying to recall their youth, Nox Boys are the essence of garage rock: Kids blowing off steam, and making timeless tunes in the process.