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BOSS HOG – ‘Brood X’ Album Review

BOSS HOG – Brood X

BOSSHOGBoss Hog released their latest (and first for many, many years) album in late March. The band have been “resting” since 2008 but they return with a strong album full of garage rock meets the B-52s meets Sisters of Mercy! Opening with the superb Billy we are treated to some organ driven post-punk delights with some great lyrics and female vocal delivery of Christina Martinez. It’s followed by the superb Black Eyes where a pounding bass and Dum Dum Girls echo infused vocals lead into a fuzzed out guitar chorus with the question “How does it feel to feel good?”

The band sound as fresh as anything out there right now and betray the seventeen years since their last release and, as Christina states – “Boss Hog has always been a very joyful band…….Not a lot of pressure to put out a record every year or tour constantly.”

The bass remains prevalent on the spacy Ground Control where strange keyboards help create a sci-fi vibe over duelling vocals all underpinned by a new age bluesy approach and this continues into Shh Shh Shh. Boss Hog were signed to Geffen in the 1990s and it’s clear on this album why that was the case. The band have polish, power and unique bluesy, garage sound that should not surprise the listener as Jon Spencer from the excellent Jon Spencer Blues Explosion is Christina’s husband, co-vocalist and guitarist!

The New York based band have honed a dark sound and deal with some dark subjects and the bass/keyboard interaction creates a unique sound on Signal. The spoken word vocals between Martinez and Spencer on Rodeo Chica lead into a 2017 take on the blues – full of grungy, dirty sounding bass and guitar with a playful keyboard to add some lightness!

Elevator ups the pace reminding me a little of the Birthday Party/Early Nick Cave in sound and Formula X brings forward the vocals over a lumpy/chunky rhythm that is more goth/punk in style. The penultimate track of the ten on the album is Sunday Routine, a trip into kitchen sink drama lyrically with the slow & steady pace of the song adding to the atmosphere of frustration and boredom in the lyrics.

Closing the excellent album with 17, Boss Hog experiment with a folksy ballad over some vintage crackle and gently strummed guitar. The organ adds to an atmosphere of foreboding and the track just eats into your skull as the guitar plays with short solos and then abruptly ends. Boss Hog are back with a vengeance and what a welcome return it is full of latent power and creativity.

Grab this one here (you won’t be disappointed): https://intheredrecords.com/collections/boss-hog

 

 

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