Brooklyn B Boys came seemingly out of nowhere in March 2016 with debut EP ‘No Worry No Mind‘ (on cult local label Captured Tracks). The album caught immediately a lot of attention (certainly ours) also thanks to the promotion the band received from touring with Parquet Courts soon after the release. The three gentlemen would have found themselves at home in Ohio around 1977, when seminal bands like Devo and Pere Ubu were making music so cool that semi-forgotten by God places like Akron and Cleveland became suddenly the epicenter of the rock’n’roll world. B Boys blend those influences with a sound that flirts with the reverberations of surf music and the gritty fuzziness of garage rock. In line with the DIY scene’s ethos and budget, the band’s guitarist Britton Walker has a few, trusted, mostly borrowed pieces of gear, we asked him a few questions about them.What guitar and amp do you use?
Right now I use a Fender Tornado with a Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue.
Is your signature distortion coming from the amp or from a pedal?
I’m not particularly crazy about my amp, especially using the distortion channel. The tone sounds great going through the clean channel but the gain is just too warm and ends up being a bit muddy and cutting out the high end, at that point you aren’t using just the tubes anyway so screw it. Overall the amp is just too powerful and I never really get to turn it up past 2. As of right now I use two overdrive pedals: a Fulltone OCD and EarthQuaker Devices Speaker Cranker. They are both overdrive pedals but I think the OCD rides a thin line between overdrive and distortion. I had to find a way to get a little grit for my tone without using my amp’s gain channel and wanted to keep the tone I got from the clean channel so we searched and found that the Speaker Cranker kind of delicately gives my guitar some grit but nothing heavy. It is always on along with a Boss Super Chorus CH-1 adding a little beef and space. The OCD is used for solos and I have it turned up so it creates some feedback. My main idea for the tone is to be able to make a song sound heavy without laying on a buncha-crunch.
What other effects do you use that are not gain related (if any), and how?
Besides that Boss Super Chorus, I have been using a Rogue Analog Delay which Brendon said he bought for $15. It’s a big p.o.s. in my opinion and I just use it to give the slightest slap back, sparingly. The timing and repeat are usually turned all the way down. Right now I just use it for one song on the EP, more on some new stuff.
Are there any pedals out there you are itching to buy?
Truth be told, the only things I even own in this band are my amp and Brendon’s bass. The rest of the pedals are Andrew and Brendon’s. I’ve been thinking about trading in the chorus pedal for a roland jazz chorus amp, still undecided. I think I prefer the ’80s chorus sound of the Boss pedal though after doing a lot of research. It provides a little more atmosphere. I am itching to get my hands on a Death By Audio Echo Dream 2 and their Ghost Delay, Moog MF Boost, and maybe even an Eventide PitchFactor Harmonizer. I like a lot of the EarthQuaker Devices pedals but I’d honestly prefer to have less pedals overall and just upgrade the delay and add a mid-level grit pedal like the MF Boost. For me, less is more and big pedal boards just make me cringe.