I miss when bands used to rip off Forever The Sickest Kids (via BOYS WILL BE BOYS)


Sometimes I reminisce back on The Neon Years™ and think about what a great time it was musically and all the amazing bands it produced. I still have fond memories of the days when All Time Low and Forever The Sickest Kids were first blowing up and fighting for the Neon Pop throne. Of course this meant that a lot of replicas followed suit. Far more bands ultimately ended up taking the All Time Low route, probably because their music is way less intricate and easier to make. But in the same scene, there was a handful FTSK clones, most of which were totally awesome and went unnoticed. From this batch, Boys Will Be Boys easily stand out in my mind as the quintessential FTSK rip-off band (with maybe Friday Night Fever as a close second).

Even though the FTSK emulation is blatantly clear here, everything about this song is also so distinct at the same time: the opening line about his fans (despite this being their first single), all of the glitchy vocal effects and overuse of auto-tune that would make 1998-era Cher blush, the faux-urban slang (“that’s what’s up, to all my playaz, let’s just not worry about them hataz”). I think I might go out on a limb and say that I actually like this more than any song by FTSK.

This song is about the singer cheating on his girlfriend with one of her friends, blaming her friend for it and how their relationship has been shaky since it happened, but that she should just forget about it because her heart is all he needs. I also love the manipulative lyrics (“stop talking to your friends cause I hate them”) that sound like something a dude would say to a girl in an abusive relationship (ironically, the one cover that this band did was by Chris Brown).

Jaded (Forget You) is a sick track about the singer getting fucked over by a girl and him moving on from her. I love the part when he’s all like “lol jokes on u cause i had another girl that i was fuckin on the down-low”.  Also note the surprisingly talented guitar solo that most people wouldn’t expect to hear in a Neon Pop song (ala Friday Night Boys – High School).

The moment when they admit to it ^

I wasn’t too familiar with their newer stuff so I went searching and found this song they uploaded to their MySpace in early 2011 (I didn’t even know they had material from that recently). Sounds closer to straight up Radio Pop (which I think is basically what Neon Pop evolved into) and it’s actually really awesome.

I’m not really sure what happened to Boys Will Be Boys or why they never blew up. I guess it’s just one of those mysteries of life that we’ll never figure out. For all that are interested in this crucial part of Neon Pop history, you can stream their entire discography on their purevolume page.



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48 Responses to I miss when bands used to rip off Forever The Sickest Kids (via BOYS WILL BE BOYS)

  1. deadwing says:

    I bought both Nowhere Fast and @candicebeahit back on iTunes back in the day


  2. Sergeant D says:

    Dude this band was so good, and I am so glad that you reminded everybody of it.

    I never really picked up on the creepy misogynist undertone to all the lyrics but lol. so funny

    Did they ever tour or even play like a legit show? I can’t remember ever hearing about it… I think that is often the difference between bands who only exist on the internet and ones that go somewhere– you have to get out there and tour (although even then it’s obv not a guarantee, just as CASH CASH).

  3. I also like the fish says:

    man i need to make a neon pop band so i can bring back the scene. but it will have tr00 influences so it can fool the tr00 kids into liking me. Great selection of music.

  4. uppercut613 says:

    alright, detailed update:

    they moved to LA as a band in 2011 (from Fairfax, Virginia, where they’re originally from), broke up, started a new band called adelaid (https://twitter.com/AdelaidMusic), can’t find any music from them and their facebook page is gone so i’m guessing that band didn’t last long. singer is now a club bro/dj who gets fade haircuts and goes to the gym alot (source: https://twitter.com/lehiii).

    RIP Neon

  5. BenYaBoy says:

    Word On The Street is their best track IMO and people definitely should check that song out.

    • BenYaBoy says:

      LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqLYqr63aPM

      While its hook not as super saccharine as That’s Whats Up, I like it more for its bordering-on-rap vocals in the verses. Do give it a try

      • uppercut613 says:

        don’t think it’s their best song, but it’s a sick track for sure. i’m consistently impressed with their shredding guitar solos. usually i don’t even dig solos, but in neon pop they sound so upbeat and cool. was the guitarist who did them the one that left the band? cause i noticed the guitar solos are missing from their newer material, but that also could’ve been because they were going for a more straight up pop sound.

  6. JiVeSucka says:

    while i dug the skate punk and how to get into real hardcore(lol) posts i just cant get into :/ this they look to much iike kids i woulda made fun of in highschool

  7. Save Parker says:

    OH man, when you say blatant, you mean blatant. And that creepy abusive undertone really makes this super interesting. Its like they were created as a parody of FTSK in some Degrassi-esque show cause the singer was dating a main character (Hailey) and cheating on her, and they would play incredibly specific parts of the songs to try to convince her but she wouldn’t get it until the end of the episode.

    Also this takes me back to playing shows opening for a lot of bands who clearly had one and only one influence, so many struggling local kids think its a good idea but without at least one twist on things they always get forgotten about real quick :/

    • uppercut613 says:

      as a canadian, i appreciate your degrassi reference ahah.

      and yeah i agree with what you said in the last paragraph. if you think back to all the BIG neon pop bands, they all had something that set them apart from each other. so many bands that were basically replicas back then (but i still love them all the same). like this cash cash replica http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8GZe4km4Bg or this band that sounds just like the maine but with higher pitched vocals http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd42nffUo-c

      one of my favorite bands from the neon pop era was the summer highlight. i can’t really think of a specific band they ripped off though. they have an EP where they combine acoustic + electronic ( = acoustic neon pop?). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1D0yniwy38 soo good.

  8. 3rdgrace says:

    dear uppercut, what’s your thoughts on song and video ‘bad girls club’ by falling in reverse? pretty neon-pop-esque imo and cuz ronnie is legit douche, there’s no undertones there. some well-needed honesty to neon pop scene.

    • uppercut613 says:

      definitely nu-neon pop. i think it’s sick honestly. ronnie does come across as a legit douche, but i try not to concern myself with personalities of band members when listening to the music. honestly, i could never say this in a crowded room of pop punk kids without getting shunned for life for my opinions, but the last falling in reverse album was pretty damn well done and the range of sound on it is crazy.

      epitaph actually signed a band that’s basically a falling in reverse clone, they even did a video with radke in it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp4rHufPtjs . this is prob my fav song from the album, chorus is super catchy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMH-iyPuJUg the only downside is the mediocre unclean vox :/ (much like radke’s but even worse i think)

      • SolarFlareSuperior says:

        Ah survive this! Man those guys are great. Def one of the best up and coming bands. They combine American pie core with breakdowns . A winning combo that could hopefully make pop punk fun again

  9. Night Rider says:

    HA! Purevolume… Is that site still relevant? I forgot it existed until I saw something about it a few days ago

    • uppercut613 says:

      nah i doubt it’s still relevant but purevolume plays a key role in neon pop history. forever the sickest kids got big because jonathan cook bought a front page spot on the site (by accident i think he said? lol i guess he didnt realize what he was paying for) so they had to hurry up quick and make a song. then when they released it (a demo version of hey brittany), they had a bunch of labels fighting over them and ultimately went with universal.

      • Night Rider says:

        That’s a pretty incredible rise to fame right there

        I don’t doubt that it had a role to play because I remember for a certain period of time I wasted SOOOO much time on that site. I think that was in like 2005 or 2006…? Ridiculous how long ago that seems now and how lulzy some of the stuff I did on there was :(

  10. Y is this post not on #mancrushmonday? The Zit-Remedy (the ORIG NEON POP band) influence is totally obvs, shame on u 4 omitting that bro.

    • uppercut613 says:

      The Zit-Remedy (the ORIG NEON POP band)


    • Bronson says:

      To be sure though, only The Zit Remedy’s casette demos were REALLY influential. By the time they released a proper single, it was already overproduced tripe made to be danced to by capitalist puppets – it had none of the raw grittiness that obviously defined the neon pop sound we all know and love.

  11. SolarFlareSuperior says:

    Judging by their promo pics in the first video it seems like they transitioned from neon to full H&M model. Also any band with lolzy fake urban slang/hip hop influences owes Good Charlotte royalties. In particular their self titled album(so lolzy but catchy at the same time) and that I just want to live song

  12. Bronson says:

    I actually got into this band someone recently, when you mentioned them in the comments section of another post (I can’t remember which) a while back. Now “That’s What’s Up” is on regular gym rotation when I’m doing chest exercises. Really great, underrated band, but to be sure, definitely a really weird one, too.

    As you mentioned, their first single mentions how they don’t really have any friends, only fans and fame, when throughout the entirety of their brief career, they were almost entirely unknown – made me wonder, is there any reality in there? Like, obviously the “fans” and “fame” part was made up, but was it possible they really didn’t have any friends either and were really banking on this band as the only means to achieve acceptance and admiration by others? If so, kinda speaks to a level of desperation largely unseen since Black Flag’s early albums.

    And of course, there is the creepy misogynist undercurrent in most of their songs – which, I guess when you idolize FTSK, it’s too crazy to believe since those dudes seem like legit creepers anyway (and there’s a very subtle undercurrent of manipulation in some of their songs too” (ie: My Worst Nightmare” – “I never loved anyone other than you/but secretly I always want to see you cry so I push you until you do”).

    In any event, probably obscure for a reason, but a very good, off-kilter band. Glad to see you giving them some more exposure!

    • uppercut613 says:

      Top notch analysis here ^ (wouldn’t expect any less from you).

      Here is my take on it – the fans/fame thing and the creepy misogynistic undertones follow the whole “fake it til you make it” mindset. like, if we act like douchey rockstars, then we’ll become them. obviously that didn’t end up happening but it was a good effort on their part IMO!

      Speaking of the misogynistic undertones, there was a song I left out from this post but the lyrics are basically like (i’m paraphrasing here) “i’m using you for sex, i don’t actually like you or want to be your boyfriend so stop acting so clingy and calling me”. So many guys do this, but to actually write a song about is extremely honest. Are we seeing a level of sincerity in Boys Will Be Boys that can’t even be seen in most tr00 pop punk bands? Here’s the song i’m talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pQ14Ny6RaI

      Ultimately I agree with you that this band was weird and probably obscure for a reason, but us SYWH bros can remember and appreciate them atleast. The singer seems to have fully moved on from his scene past… I leave you with a quote from his twitter: “I feel sorry for the peeps that are stuck in the warp tour days. It’s 2013 yall”

    • Sergeant D says:

      If so, kinda speaks to a level of desperation largely unseen since Black Flag’s early albums

      • uppercut613 says:

        i swear, this is the only place on the internet where a neon power pop band can get compared to black flag. i love it.

  13. Latinoheat!!! says:

    I can’t believe Mushroomhead are on a 20th anniversary tour!!! I didn’t even know they were around for that long.

    why no slipknot/mudvayne/icp collabo super trailerparkcore tour ?!?!?!

    • Y tour when they can have the Gathering of the Juggalos?

      • Latinoheat!!! says:

        wood go non-ironically to see late 90s/early 00s burnouts n has-beens n shit !!! =D

        waiting for DMX to go to jail again n then get sprung out n then play this shit so i can see him in all his fuckup grimy rap glory n see teh biggest visuals of WAM’s/10

  14. Adward says:

    biggest regret is not getting on the neon-pop-punk parade when I was a few years younger as I fuckin’ LOVE this shit now. I wasted my time on 90′d grindDADcore and skramz. fml. Now I can finger a girl in a gaslight anthem/title fight tee in the back of some “arty” club and just try and convince myself it’s okay :(

    • uppercut613 says:

      i was into this stuff when it was popular (2008-2011) but i too have regrets from the neon era. the show i regret not going to the most was forever the sickest kids and hit the lights in fall 2008. underdog alma mater and skip school start fights are my 2 fav neon pop albums (i know the HTL one would be considered more pop punk but dat cover is neon as fuck). i didnt have anyone to go with and wouldve had to bus 2 hours alone.. if i could go back in time i totally wouldve done it. still havent seen either of those bands live but seeing them today wouldnt be the same since their newer material kept getting progressively worse.

  15. demcats says:

    The greatest tragedy to me was discovering how amazing FTSK are and realizing that no other neon pop bands come close to that kind of quality. These guys are good, “Thats Whats Up” is a jam for sure and really does sound exactly like them. I’ll see if there are any downloads of their stuff online. But really, I craved so hard for anything else in the same league as Underdog Alma Mater and never found it :( That post of the obscure neon pop bands you did a while ago is great for historical reasons, but not really for repeated listens you know? But then again I’m not as into this stuff as you are.

    • uppercut613 says:

      Yeah I’m not going to say that any other neon pop release comes close to the quality of underdog alma mater (one of my favorite albums of all time) but that’s not to say there aren’t some super good releases out there. Idk it’s kinda like how no tr00 pop punk/crewneckcore release will come anywhere near under soil and dirt by TSSF, or how four year strong’s rise or die trying is the definitive easycore album which can’t be matched to this day. Have you tried Friday night fever – TGIF ep? If there’s any release that would come close to underdog alma mater, it would be that one I suppose.

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