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Discover the Lost Gems of the ’80s with The Torn Boys’ Debut Release on Independent Project Records

Independent Project Records (IPR) is set to bring the hidden treasures of the early ’80s post-punk scene to light with the release of 1983, the first-ever compilation from the Torn Boys, a once enigmatic quartet from Stockton, California. This seminal collection, featuring Jeffrey Clark, Kelly Foley, Duncan Atkinson, and a young Grant-Lee Phillips, is scheduled to drop on April 12, promising a deep dive into a pivotal moment in music history.

Today marks the release of the single and video for “May Day,” offering a glimpse into the raw energy and innovative sound of the Torn Boys. The band, though short-lived, left an indelible mark on the music scene, with members going on to form or join influential bands such as Shiva Burlesque, Gary Young’s Hospital, and Grant Lee Buffalo.

The 1983 compilation is a meticulously curated ten-track set that brings together rare, unreleased studio and live recordings, capturing the essence of the Torn Boys’ brief yet impactful existence. Available in digital formats, compact disc, and a visually striking black, white, and green vinyl, each purchase also includes a bonus all-region DVD. This DVD features previously unseen live footage and newly crafted music videos, offering fans and newcomers alike a comprehensive look at the band’s artistic journey.

Discover the Lost Gems of the '80s with The Torn Boys' Debut Release on Independent Project Records 1

Formed in 1982 and disbanding by the end of 1983, the Torn Boys were known for their unique blend of dreamy lyricism, ’80s synth rhythms, and distinctive guitar work, a fusion of Robert Fripp’s experimental edge and Carl Perkins’ rockabilly style. The addition of Grant-Lee Phillips, then only nineteen, on lead guitar brought a fresh dynamism to the band, with his “Chet-Atkins-plays-Scary-Monsters” sound further enriching their musical alchemy.

Grant-Lee Phillips reflects on the band’s formation, noting the immediate connection over shared passions for the fringes of music, art, and film, especially within the unlikely setting of Stockin. He remarks, “What Jeff and Kelly were doing, you just didn’t see that kind of thing happening in Stockton. So we connected right away.”

Forty years on, the Torn Boys’ music defies easy classification, straddling the lines between neo-psychedelia, New Wave, and art-punk surrealism, with a distinctly Californian twist. The full track listing includes gems like “See Through My Eyes,” “Mystery” (Live at KDVS), and “Lady Luck,” among others, offering a comprehensive portrait of a band that, though fleeting in its original incarnation, continues to resonate with audiences today.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the legacy of the Torn Boys with 1983, a testament to the enduring power and intrigue of underground music movements.

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