08.16.2015 — “Boys Don’t Cry” as covered by taffy


If you only listen to one cover song today, make it “Boys Don’t Cry”, as covered by taffy (2013, from the album Lixiviate).

taffy is an indie rock/shoegaze from Tokyo. They started in 2012 when vocalist Iris and bassist Koichin’s previous bands dissolved at the same time. They got together, and eventually recruited their friends Asano (guitar) and Ken (drums). To date, they’ve released three full-length albums. This year, they released a new EP.

I don’t know anything else about them and I don’t know their catalog. I learned about them while snooping around in one of the Japanese Shoegaze forums that I frequently visit. This is the first song that I heard, and naturally, I love it. Of course “Boys Don’t Cry” originally appeared on amazing album of the same name by The Cure in 1980.

Everybody knows the original. Now, here’s the cover:

Iris sounds so much like Sarah Cracknell (of St.Etienne fame) it’s actually confusing me a bit.

I love that they’ve made it fuzzier and a little “bigger” than the original. In the original, the whole thing is really peppy and bouncy and bright, in stark contrast with the fact that it’s a rather sad song. In this cover, the tone is different. It sounds dark and sad, like it really is. The protagonist has his heart shattered when his girl leaves him. He’s gutted, and thinks about begging, pleading, and groveling to get her back. But he’s not going to cry, because boys don’t cry. The chorus in this cover is kind of triumphant and upbeat, like it should be. It’s really brilliant, actually that it took a cover version to match the sound and feel of the song with its theme.

I also love the little break-down between 3:42 and 4:10 before it gets really fuzzy and big again.

Here’s the official video for the song:

You can buy the album on lilac vinyl from Club AC 30 here. The CD format is out of print, and existing copies on the secondary market are pretty expensive. I don’t see this album on any of the normal legal downloading places, but the vinyl does come with a download code.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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