Boys Life were a Kansas City, Mo., band with an intensely energetic, but dissonant sound that sprung out of the post-hardcore scene in 1993. The band began releasing material on split 7" records with other local outfits Secular Theme and Giants Chair. Relying on a stripped-down sound punctuated by out-of-tune, noisy guitars and a ‘quiet' then ‘loud' alternation, the foursome then put out two full-length albums, Boys Life in 1995 and the out-of-print classic Departures and Landfalls in 1996.
Tagged emo-core by critics and kids alike, the band, composed of Brandon Butler (vocals/guitar), John Anderson (drums), John Rejba (bass) and Joe Winkle (guitar), often began their songs with a simple bass line and then turned up the nobs and ditched the drum brushes, building up to epic crescendos with screaming, distortion and energy — all in a very controlled manner. Adding samples of crickets chirping, radio static and the far-off wail of train whistles gave the band a decidedly Midwestern/Americana feel without ever coming off as folk or country.
Boys Life called it quits sometime in 1997, but members went on to form the short-lived Farewell Bend, Lullaby for the Working Class and other projects. Winkle and Butler now do time in the Lo-Fi outfit Canyon.