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Tall Boys - "Evading Problems" Stream

Max Popoff and Hopyard Mathison are Tall Boys
Consisting of two boys -- Max Popoff and Hopyard Mathison -- who are, in fact, tall, Tall Boys are one of the most intriguing acts in what could be called "the Kansas City emo scene" at this point in time. Mathison, who has performed locally as Employer for several years, teamed up with Popoff, a recent Kansas City transplant via Denver, earlier in 2018 for the duo's first string of shows. After becoming regulars at Roller Dog (and more recently Farewell Transmission; two DIY spots Popoff has operated since his arrival), an EP was released in June.

Ever the existentialist, singer/guitarist Popoff searches throughout "Evading Problems" for the answers to life's questions (and some more Hamm's) in a put-on drawl, painting an absurd series of vignettes along the way. "Our friends are tossin' back a case of beer and smokin' crack / Writing haikus and watching Fox News," Popoff leisurely sings on "What's A Cowboy To Do?" -- a song that feels like a Coen Brothers film about a crew of Midwestern burnouts. "I never loved you" goes the chorus on "Slobber," before Popoff details a bender he and his former love shared. It's rare that a songwriter can write about heartbreak in a way that's this vivid and simultaneously bleak.

Aside from Popoff's knack for imagery, the duo also succeeds at keeping the recordings interesting. Warm, crackling bits of spoken word akin to those on "Spiderland" are present on "Cowboy," along with a tender outro of keyboard organ and string parts. The Boys put some thinking into the soft/loud elements of the songs, too. Jangly blasts on "Yams And Meat" hit the listener in waves. With any luck, by the EP's conclusion, Tall Boys have pulled you into a surreal, fucked up alternate dimension version of Midwestern living that's just close enough to the real thing to be unnerving.

Stream or download "Evading Problems" below.


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