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Monday, December 01, 2008

CD Review: Boneshaker - Start the Race

Boneshaker - Start the Race
2008 Gofannon Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.



Consider this one The Metal Minute's mack daddy pick of the week...

It sometimes takes a band outside your centralized location in the world to jolt you awake to the possibility that a tried-and-true sound you might have taken for granted has meaning and moreover, a party hearty flavor of fun that's been sadly remiss.

France's Boneshaker, had they released Start the Race in the late eighties, might've given David Lee Roth's Becker-era lineup a hotfooted race just for their giddyap 'n go two step rocker "Wild Flower." Of course, the pessimistic would've blown these guys off as imitators, however, if Boneshaker has any direct facsimile to an American rock 'n roll band, it would have to be more Nashville Pussy than anyone.

Of course there's hints of Van Halen, Bon Scott era AC/DC and Rose Tattoo to Boneshaker, and even some Zeppelin. Listen carefully for a slice out of Jimmy Page's familiar solo from "Whole Lotta Love" creatively excavated with repeated breakneck jerks on Boneshaker's uppity jam "We're Gonna Celebrate."

The energy level Boneshaker pounds out on Start the Race is as if they shot the starting pistol a mile into the event with the competition still in position at the line. They literally run like hell on jackrabbit-paced cuts like "You're Wrong," "Wild Flower" and the title cut. At times Start the Race feels like Let Them Eat Pussy with its bawdy sexuality and its constantly tramping rhythm.

Only on "Falling" does Boneshaker ease the tempo to an out-of-nowhere slowed seriousness and even that song builds to a loud Deep Purple-esque organ-filled climax. Meanwhile, Boneshaker teasingly belts out the whimsical toe-tapper "Can't Play the Blues," only to shuck and jive a perfectly-agreeable blues number a couple tracks later with "Boncha TV."

What Boneshaker does is unapologetic and God bless 'em for it. They say true rock 'n roll is close to extinction in America and if you listen to Start the Race, you'll have to agree. Outside of a generous handful of underground rockers and a number of old school hang-ons, when's the last time you heard an album with this much balls? Dangerous Toys and Bulletboys were still pretty fashionable at the time, there's your hint. Listen closely to Boneshaker and you'll hear these two groups assimilated as well, be it Chris' vocals which reflect some Marc Torien as well as Bon Scott, or just the fact you'll find cowboy hats planted on the noodles of Boneshaker's raucous and motivated rhythm section.

At the core of Boneshaker's partially retro amp rock is a Dixie drag and Aussie swill that powers their electrified cock rock, and assuredly there's more dick being thrust from this group than we've heard in some time. America, take note...

Rating: ****1/2

Link: Boneshaker MySpace Page

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