Beyond their '90s slack-induced bluster and surging melodies, the drive behind Herzog's coming-of-age candor is simple history.
Their third release, Boys, recounts more than a decade of collaboration between the local five-member band. "We've seen each other grow up," says frontman Nick Tolar. "It really is about our lives."
Herzog received national buzz for their 2010 debut Search when NPR All Songs Considered co-host Robin Hilton chose their crunchy "Silence" as a song of the year in 2011, establishing their reputation for churning out tight hooks that meet power-pop standards. They followed it up with 2012's Cartoon Violence and performances at local festivals.
Though Boys will be released through Cleveland-started, Brooklyn-based Exit Stencil Recordings later this year, the band will perform some of its material at Roar Along the Shore on the Goodtime III Sept. 6.
For this album, the band enlisted producer and recording engineer Kevin McMahon after hearing his work with Jersey punks Titus Andronicus. His influence is telling on a final product that is "faster, louder, with more energy," explains lyricist Tony Vorell.
Expect unfussy and riff-heavy social anecdotes that denounce the band's barroom hero lifestyle.
"Parts are about kids getting into trouble, and what young males do when they're bored," Tolar says. "And it goes into when you hit your 30s. There's a song, Getting Older,' about how your friends stop going to shows and start having families."