It’s been just about a year since we’ve heard new material from NYC post-punk band Bootblacks, but sometimes it pays to keep quiet, carefully calculating your next move. The band has been touring relentlessly, further honing their live chops and retaining their dominance as New York’s premiere live act.
The band are set to embark upon a two leg, multi-country tour as well, pairing up with fellow post-punk darlings ACTORS in the States, and throughout Europe with ex-Liste Noire member Kalle Fagerberg’s new project, Living Temples. To celebrate, Bootblacks have just announced a new disc, comprised of material both new, old, and exclusive to kick things off.
There’s so much to say about this new offering, officially out on a limited edition compact disc on October 6th via Manic Depression Records / Icy Cold Records. The disc serves as a perfect introduction to the band, as well as a retrospective of sorts. The disc kicks off with two new, exclusive tracks, including “Captives,” an older tune that has since been resurrected, re-worked, and offered up to launch this new release with a hard-hitting, synth-driven bang. Next up is our feature track, a faithful (and razor-sharp) cover of Secession’s club classic “Touch (Part One),” which focuses heavily on guitarist Alli Gorman’s percussive plucking and Barrett Hiatt’s soaring synth programming. These two tracks are immaculately recorded by Hillary Johnson and produced by Xavier Paradis of Automelodi, and are a fresh step forward for the band, capturing much of their live power in the digital space.
As if these two tracks weren’t enough to keep their momentum, the disc continues with five excellent radio session recordings, captured during their last US jaunt. These five tracks, recorded at Part Time Punks (the US equivalent of John Peel in so many ways), span the course of Bootblacks’ major releases, featuring two tracks from 2017’s Fragments, two from 2016’s Veins, and an updated version of Narrowed favorite “Voices.” These sessions, engineered by Josiah Mazzaschi document the band’s live prowess with five of their strongest tracks from top to bottom.
Lastly, for those who may have missed out on the limited edition cassette so many years ago, the disc tacks on the freshly mastered Narrowed tracks, released in 2013 with a vastly different lineup. While these tracks are five years old at this point, the release paved the way for Bootblacks’ sonic reinvention and are a welcome inclusion for those just discovering the band.
Frontman Panther Macdonald offers some insight to the release:
This is an interesting record for us because it contains a lot of firsts. It’s the first time we’ve covered a song for a record. It’s also the first time we’ve gone back and taken an older song and reworked it to our current musical sensibilities. It was a fun project to try to make someone else’s song our own while also trying to make our own song sound more like us now. The Part Time Punks Sessions were also another first. Recording a live set for release is something out of the ordinary for us. The live style of recording was a great time and imparted a totally different energy to the songs. There’s something fantastic about the minimalism of the live session recordings because of the bareness and finality of them.
Full tracklist, preorder details, and tour dates can be found below:
PART TIME PUNKS SESSIONS // NARROWED CD
2. Touch (Part One)
PART TIME PUNKS SESSIONS
3. Voices (Part Time Punks Sessions)
4. Hold & Dissolve (Part Time Punks Sessions)
5. Sudden Moves (Part Time Punks Sessions)
6. Sub Rosa (Part Time Punks Sessions)
7. Southpole (Part Time Punks Sessions)
10. Perfect Fiction
BOOTBLACKS 2018 Tour Dates
US with ACTORS
- Sep 16 – Brooklyn NY @ Brooklyn Bazaar Murder of Crows Fest (w/ ACTORS, VOWWS, Azar Swan & Way Out)
- Sep 18 – Pittsburgh PA @ Brillobox
- Sep 19 – Cleveland OH @ House of Wills (Official Ohgr Afterparty)
- Sep 20 – Columbus OH @ The Summit
- Sep 21 – Detroit MI @ Smalls
- Sep 22 – Chicago IL @ The Burlington
EUROPE with LIVING TEMPLES
- Oct 07 – Lviv @ FESTrepublic
- Oct 08 – Kosice @ Collosseum Club Košice
- Oct 09 – Trencin @ Klub Lúč
- Oct 10 – Prague @ Underdogs’
- Oct 11 – Wroclaw @ Return To The Batcave Festival 2018
- Oct 12 – Leipzig @ Connewitz
- Oct 13 – Berlin @ Urban Spree w/ Spiritual Front
- Oct 14 – Nuremberg @ Projekt 31
- Oct 16 – Frankfurt @ The Cave
- Oct 17 – Cologne @ Tsunami Club
- Oct 18 – Brussels @ Café Central w/ TRAITRS
- Oct 19 – Paris @ L’International w/ TRAITRS
Photo by Michael Thomas
Cover derived from Eckhard Kremers “Morija II“ 1991