Raleigh–Durham-based indie outfit Booster Club features a collection of grizzled North Carolina scene vets: Steven Bailey (vocals, guitar), who has had stints with Indiobravo, The Jaded Rakes, Paloma and Waxing Myrna; Alan Levine (bass), who has played with Bob Funck Band, Coytah, and Indiobravo; and Joey Zielazinski (drums), who had had stints with Secretary Pool and The Softeners.
Formed back in 2021, the self-described “college rock revival” band specializes in a sound that’s clearly indebted to The Replacements, Pixies, Hüsker Dü and the like — and yet the material, which they deliver with an authentic fervor, “fueled by death anxiety and caffeine,” manages to stand on its own. Despite sharing some common aesthetics with pre-internet college radio artists, the band takes on forward-leaning sensibilities that allows them to veer from anthemic hooks to art-rock chaos — within the same song.
The band presents their music “warts and all” partially due to a lack of audio editing ability but mostly because the band’s Steven Bailey frequently invents parts during sessions.
Earlier this year, I wrote about “Say It Out Loud,” an anthemic, college radio friendly jam built around enormous hooks, fuzzy power chords and heart-proudly-on-sleeve performances from old pros. At its heart, the song is a vital and powerful reminder that craft and earnestness are timeless whether you’re 20., 40 or 60 — and that this music thing is for the young, and the forever young at heart.
“Failure,” the North Carolina-based outfit’s latest single “Failure” continues a run of 120 Minutes-era MTV/college radio-like material built around the band’s penchant for big, catchy hooks but paired with a 12 bars blues-like guitar line, a simple old-timey backbeat and a heartbreakingly earnest vocal delivery. The song evokes a familiar feeling for anyone in a creative field — that nagging sensation of failure that’s always right around the corner.