Budokan Boys – No Show

Groucho Marx had a joke describing two women at a buffet. The first woman complains, “This food is terrible.” “Yes,” says the second, “and the portions are too small.” Budokan Boys share a similar miserablist humor that relies on the smarts of the listener.

“We don’t have enough money to attend the show, and we don’t really like the music anyway.” is the basic theme of the duo’s song, ‘No Show’. There’s a damp sense of melancholy in this first track from the upcoming album, that makes explicit the tonal quality that drew Vienna-based composer Jeff T Byrd, and New Orleans-based writer Michael Jeffrey Lee together.

From the ground-up, beats sound like rain drips on concrete, the synth bed has insomnia, and the lyrical flow cascades across a series of destitute scenarios. We want to go somewhere that we don’t really like, and we can’t afford the ticket. We could go to the casino, but we’re all out of luck and money. We check in with social media to see what’s happening, but nothing ever happens. Boredom, and existential drudgery is celebrated with a certain wit that will instantly lose listeners who simply don’t get it. Those perma-happy fuckers that cast votes on TV talent shows, believe in god, still watch the Twilight movies, and whose breath smells of Dorito dust and annual passes to Disneyland. It’s okay, none of us, especially Budokan Boys, need those people.

Tragic, comic, heartfelt, authentic and absurd – there’s a mockery and celebration of the mundane. There’s also a keen dismantling of the self. “Everybody’s posting baby pictures. I’ve got nothing to post. I’ve got nothing to post.” Yes. The genetic line stops here. Loneliness. Loneliness. Loneliness. It’s perfect.

One of the most pleasing aspects of ‘No Show’ is that it’s a counter-intuitive song. That this slither of misery and wonder is released to introduce the upcoming album – Dad is Bad – can only cement the affections of the audience that Budokan Boys will play for. They’re nuanced, they’re niche, and they’re compelling as fuck.


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