Cost of Living

Downtown Boys - Cost of Living
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2017 Ratings: #216 / 898
User Score
Based on 61 ratings
2017 Ratings: #427
Liked by 1 person
August 11, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sub Pop / Label
Hardcore Punk / Genres
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God Is in the TV

Cost of Living is the kind of album that must be appreciated in its entirety for the songs to really make sense. Listening to individuals tracks, as superb as they are, doesn’t necessarily pack the same punch as the songs lined up after one another. That’s a testament to the impact of this record as a complete body of work.


They have tightened their burly brass melodies, lengthened some tracks and even incorporated new instrumental additions, such as a synthesizer on “Lips That Bite,” all to bring vocalist and lyricist Victoria Ruiz’s formidable protest anthems to the forefront.

‘Cost of Living’ might actually be Downtown Boys’ most determined album yet. It might not pack as great a punch as ‘Full Communist’, but its purity and no holds barred contributions to punk and political music are undeniable.
A.V. Club
Downtown Boys is determined to be the kind of band we need right now, delivering the kind of punk that that aims to change the world.
The Skinny

Cost of Living moves towards steadier, cleaner arrangements of lean guitars, drums and bass with the familiar tenor saxophone and synthesizer for extra colour. In doing, Downtown Boys allow ample space for frontwoman Victoria Ruiz’ commanding, strident sloganeering to shine through, louder and clearer than ever.

No Ripcord

Fear is not an option for Downtown Boys, but even when they’re dead serious about the topics they bring forth they always do so with freewheeling tenacity.

Loud and Quiet

If you’re particularly invested in harmonic vocals and gentle soundscapes, turn away now. Otherwise, strap in.


Downtown Boys have an even greater sense of purpose on Cost of Living, and lead singer Victoria Ruiz rises to the challenge, shouting with all the fire and commitment she can muster and then some.

The Guardian
The Trump administration – not to mention the bright production by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto – has given them a sense of space and melody, something that allows vocalist and lyricist Victoria Ruiz’s righteous proclamations to rise.
Northern Transmissions
Feeling most notably like a perfect pairing to any record from label-mates Priests, they craft a punk record that finds perfection between raw energy, handfuls of talent and something to say.

On their latest LP, produced by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, Downtown Boys present their thundering political punk with a richer sound. Singer Victoria Ruiz presses deep into the poetics of confrontation.

Under The Radar
The smoother edges still don't dull the thrill of loud, angry young people with something to say.
Drowned in Sound

It’s an album that relies on all the band members to contribute their character ... Their collective relentless energy combined with their individual talents saves their sound from feeling repetitive.

Rolling Stone

Produced by Fugazi's Guy Picciotto, the Boys' third album comes with the potent sonic upgrade they deserve.

Tiny Mix Tapes

Cost of Living seizes access and redirects energy. Its effect is mild. Nonetheless, beyond the pragmatism it bears, Downtown Boys’ message and intent is not compromised.


empowering messages and unbelievable roaring passion.
FAV TRACKS: A Wall, Promissory Note, Because You, Lips That Bite
LEAST FAV TRACKS: idk i enjoy all of them


Sparks of fun energy and interesting meaning throughout the album’s presentation made it a decent listening experience, but overall the band’s odd creative process and gritty yet unsubstantial sound didn’t do enough to reach anything of real importance. My Score: 117/180 (Good) = 65/100


Cost of living aims to abandon all order and reasoning with edgy sounds, dirty production and filthy vocal values. The album is essentially an acid trip straight into hell and back and you're going to enjoy it profusely. While some tracks come across as tacky, the album overall is a true standout with some social commentary regarding a clear and concise message that Downtown Boys wish to deliver ironically enough to contrast with what the record sounds like.

Highlights: A Wall, Interludes, ... read more

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Track List

  1. A Wall
  2. I'm Enough (I Want More)
  3. Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas)
  4. Promissory Note
  5. Because You
  6. Violent Complicity
  7. It Can't Wait
  8. Tonta
  9. Heroes (Interlude)
  10. Lips That Bite
  11. Clara Rancia
  12. Bulletproof (Outro)
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Added on: May 23, 2017