Party 
Bois burst beyond synth pop territory

THE WILD BOIS: Duran Duran and Falco are touchstones for Party Bois. The band, from left: Johnny Northrup, Nick Zampiello, James Towlson, Rob Gonnella and Keith Pierce.

Last month, Party Bois crashed the Brighton Music Hall stage like 15-year-olds at an all-ages hardcore show: intense energy, a huge noise, zero inhibitions.

What? You thought Party Bois played synth pop? Well, they do, but the experience tag-team frontmen Keith Pierce and Johnny Northrup provide is equal parts CBGB and Studio 54.

“At our shows, we want 
you to dance,” singer Pierce said in the Brighton Music Hall green room. “Don’t look at us, we’ll be watching you, it’s your show.”

Pierce and Northrup have rocked this town inside out since the heyday of Hydronaut a decade ago. When you toss in guitarist James Towlson and producers/beatmasters Nick Zampiello and Rob Gonnella, the list of bands the five Bois have played in extends into local legend territory — Mellow Bravo, Clouds, Campaign for Real Time and many more. But their past couldn’t predict their present.

“This group is like nothing I’ve ever done,” Zampiello said. “I know, everyone told you this, right?”

Everyone did. A few minutes in the green room with the band and each member expresses how different the Bois are.

Party Bois’ first single, “In Your Head,” stands on the padded shoulders of giants: Falco, Duran Duran, Human League. Then it reaches beyond: Pierce’s rock growl paired with Northrup’s sweeter hypnotic voice over a killer hook, then a freakishly awesome guitar solo.

“The first time I came over to (Zampiello and Gonnella’s) space and heard the stuff they were working on, I just started singing along, grooving and singing for like two hours to this stuff. It was so great,” Pierce said, then with a big laugh. “And dancing. I was doing a lot of dancing.”

“You have to understand that Nick had like 700 songs, 700 beats waiting and ready to go,” Towlson added. “We wanted people to hear them. That’s what got this band together.”

While the Bois dig through this catalog of party jams, they plan to concentrate on singles instead of albums — like a typical synth pop act. But the recorded music is only half the beast, you have to see the band live to understand it — unlike a typical synth pop act. No word on when the next single drops, but Party Bois play Nov. 14 
at the Lily Pad.

“We all play instruments, we’ve all been in a lot of bands, we know how to 
do this,” Pierce said. “But to make it work we needed to let go. We let (expletive) go and tried not to think 
so hard.”

“And we just tried to impress Nick,” he added. “A lot of it was just trying to impress the guy with the beats.”