Boy
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Boy

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Yukon's golden boy is back. Since his self-titled debut, Boy (Stephen Noel Kozmeniuk) has assembled a backing band made up of equally scruffy eye candy. On Every Page You Turn Kozmeniuk proves that he's got a guitar-case brimming with catchy tunes and for that we are glad. His second album will get the inevitable Sam Roberts/Sloan/Oasis comparisons, but just because it's slightly derivative doesn’t mean that it's not fantastic. The infectious "Same Old Song" is the album’s first single, but "Diamonds" is the best song on this album. Boy has indie cred coming out the wazoo, but he's still poised for arena rock greatness.

- Sofi Papamarko - Chartattack.com


Young Stephen Kozmeniuk turned many a head in the Canadian music industry with his self-titled debut, written and recorded by himself in his bedroom. Ornate arrangements, Britpop swagger and Lennonesque vocals made it an instant hit among those who thought Oasis were getting a bit too bogged down in that techno sh**t. Now, with a full band driving home the tunes, a newfound penchant for shaggy-maned Grit-rock and the support of Canadian uber-indie MapleMusic Recordings, BOY tunefully turns a new page - hence the album title. Recorded with Brendann McGuire (Sloan, The Dears) and mixed with Joao Carvalho, Every Page You Turn is an embarassment of rock'n'roll riches, packed with stacks of vocals, slashing riffs, fluid and melodic bass lines and Kenny Jone-styled drum fills. In other words, it's the sort of stuff that gets tagged as 'retro' by those who might think of Pavement as elder statesmen of rock. Anyway, getting back on topic, the BOY band delivers the goods on tracks such as debut single Same Old Song, which is not unlike recent singles from fellow Maple man Sam Roberts, and the stomping and storming People Come On. Elsewhere, on tracks like the rollicking Black Cat and the spacey New #2, the band stretches out into different sonic terrain, replete with swelling strings and smart twists and turns. All in all, this album proves that rock'n'roll can still be ambitious while bowing at the altar of the Almighty Three Chords. More like this, please.

- Barry Walsh - Canadian Music Network - Issue #162, October 7, 2004


Discography

Every Page You Turn (MapleMusic Recordings/Universal Music Canada), released October 26, 2004

s/t (Bumstead/EMI Music Canada), released July 8, 2003

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

In the basement of a nondescript Megacity lowrise, down a narrow, low-ceilinged hallway, to a dingy, tomb-like rehearsal space, walls bedecked with countless band posters elbowing each other for space, a lengthy strand of tiny Christmas lights snaking around the water-stained ceiling, and the floor a checkerboard of frayed squares of leftover/discarded carpet. Amidst the three drum kits, baker’s dozen amps, and an army of mic stands and cables, Whitehorse, Yukon’s Stephen Kozmeniuk stands and surveys the band he has handpicked for his sophomore album, Every Page You Turn. Manning the drums is Nanaimo’s Maurie “Tank” Kaufmann: “Maurie’s the quiet one,” Kozmeniuk says. “I found him withering away in Nanaimo, cold and hungry for something more. He’s adorable in that sickly, needy way... like a chipmunk with a disease. Hell of a drummer, though, that’s for sure.” Handling bass duties is ’Peg City’s notorious heartbreaker/producer Steve Payne: “Steve and I have seen a lot over the last year. Cavemen, free beer, girls, the ocean, propellers going out on planes we were on.” On one guitar, Rolla Olak, another Vancouver Island native: “I met Rolla while he was still playing with Grace Nocturnal, an incredible band. When they split up I gave him a shout and we hooked up and jammed in Victoria. After a night of drinking Polish vodka and beer with his father, we decided that the fun couldn't end there.” On the other guitar, the mythic James Robertson (ex-Carnations) of Toronto: about him, Kozmeniuk says only, “That bastard soaked me in beer the other night.”

Penned and played almost entirely by Kozmeniuk, the self-titled Boy debut (Bumstead Records 2003) was an I-can’t-believe-that’s-Pro Tools bedroom opus. With its sweet, seemingly effortless melodies and undeniable pop aplomb, the album was quickly championed by media and fellow musicians alike. Now backed by MapleMusic Recordings, the new album finds Kozmeniuk in cock-sure, collar-up rock ’n’ roll mode. The result is the rollicking, bombastic, impeccable Every Page You Turn, laid to tape on Vancouver Island with the help of Brenndan McGuire and mixed by the Canadian Albini (only nicer, and who wears cardigans), Joao Carvalho. “He’s very kingly; like a lion,” Kozmeniuk says of working with Carvalho. “Though it’s not golden by any means, he does have a bit of a mane, and he just goes about everything in such a regal way. He actually made us call him King, too. Like, we couldn’t just go, ‘Need a refill on that coffee, Joao?’ It had to be, ‘You doing all right for coffee there, King?’” Added Kozmeniuk, “He mixes everything from a jewel-encrusted throne.”

Back in the basement, the rehearsal begins. Kozmeniuk, Olak and Robertson layer guitar lines for the incendiary first single “ Same Old Song” and by the time Kaufman comes in with the relentlessly driving beat, the air feels asterix-laden. Next comes the hard-edged, anthemic “People Come On,” followed by the awash-in-guitars title track. Then it’s the boozy jukebox r&b of “Black Cat,” the big sky feel and tasteful twang of the poignant “A Line to Stand Behind,” the Pink Floyd “Breathe” vibe of lone instrumental “The New #2,” and finally the scruffy, sneering “Up in This Town,” with its indelible “guitorgan” hook. Each track rears and swipes and claws at the rehearsal space walls. The door’s hinges strain and bulge as the little room fights to contain these towering conflagrations in waiting– songs that know only to spread and consume. In “The Shells” Kozmeniuk sings of “taking back the stars from the night.” Taken out of this dungeon and given room to breathe, these songs could at least shake a few loose.

All writerly flourish and synergistic hyperbole aside, go get this album. Love the shit out of every glorious second of it, let the melodies bake themselves to the base of your brain like bottom-of-the-pot rice, let all those big beautiful chords swirl around and rough you up a bit, then be sure to check out the live spectacle, where you will be left arms akimbo, mouth agog, and with a little dirt in your smile lines.

- Burt Muston
August 2004