Sooner or Later

Neo Boys were an all-female punk band from Portland, Ore., that sprung up quietly in 1978 around the same time The Go-Go’s were making noise in Southern California, and bands like The Raincoats and The Slits were doing it in the UK. It was Calvin Johnson of K Records who initially shined a light on this quartet when he released the Lost Girls 1977-82 comp a few years back. Now we get to see and hear the bigger picture on the new double LP, Sooner or Later, which chronicles Neo Boys’ short-lived career from 1978 to 1982. Included are raw live recordings, demos, and the band’s first studio EP recorded and released by The Wipers’ Greg Sage in 1980, and their 1982 Crumbling Myths EP. Arranged chronologically, it’s easy to hear the evolution from a scrappy, barely-in-tune punk band to a more jangly, polished rock unit. Unlike The Go-Go’s, Neo Boys went beyond boy problems—instead they attacked injustices within their own circle (Portland in the late-’70s was, as bassist Kt Kincaid puts it, “repressing, conservative and teeming with rednecks”) and in the process spoke to a much larger audience. Unbeknownst to them, Neo Boys ended up being important musically and politically. And it still sounds fresh today.