Boytoy Brings Back-to-Basics Rock to Gramps

Noelle Duquette
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Brooklyn trio Boytoy is no stranger to Miami. Following a 2015 headlining show at Gramps in celebration of Cassette Store Day, the group will return Monday in support of its forthcoming seven-inch, Putty, as well as the band's in-the-works sophomore full-length. Boytoy's Miami stop lands in the middle of an American tour that will take the bandmates from their home base of Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

Because affixing a simple genre or all-encompassing adjective to a musical entity is more or less impossible these days, let's start here: Boytoy sounds like what would happen if you smoothed over the rougher edges of garage rock or grunge with the straightforward, captivating riffs and percussion of '60s rock. That is to say, the band's sound is both inviting and repulsive. Look no further than the deeply upsetting and utterly silly video for "Postal" as an example. With pastels providing a background against which the horrors of bleeding eye sockets, finger-riddled toilets, and Windex-filled mouths can unfold, "Postal" embodies Boytoy's few-fucks-given ethos in less than three minutes.

Founded in 2013 after the collapse of the members' previous bands, the group comprises lead singer and guitarist Saara Untracht-Oakner, guitarist Glenn Van Dyke, and drummer Chase Noelle. Although Noelle is the latest in a rotating cast of drummers, she has proven to be a natural fit for the sound established by founding members Untracht-Oakner and Dyke on Boytoy's self-titled 2014 EP. Describing the influences behind their 2015 record, Grackle, in a previous interview with New Times, Untracht-Oakner said the group's sound was informed by "the Kinks, Velvet Underground, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and ambient rock from the '70s," apt forebears to the punchy throwback sound at which Boytoy excels. The band's newest release, "Want," sounds much more like the former, with a healthy dose of surf rock. Dyke grew up surfing in Jacksonville, so it makes sense the laid-back yet intent sound of that culture would show in his approach.

At Gramps, Boytoy will be joined by fellow rock enthusiasts (and Saint Petersburg scene staples) Veiny Hands and Miami's own Plastic Pinks. In dizzying times like these, it makes sense to welcome the new year with a heady dose of visceral rock 'n' roll.

With Plastic Pinks and Veiny Hands. 9 p.m. Monday, January 16, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; gramps.com. Admission costs $10.

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