Friday, July 11, 2008

Prepare To Surrender To The Boss Martians! Pressure in the SODO Review!

Boss Martians

Pressure in the SODO
Musick Records

There's music that is so loud and catchy that you want to crank it up to full blast. On my list, bands like The Monarchs fit this category. They're loud, full of screaming guitar solos, and catchy songs that are just fun. Seattles Boss Martians are one of them. The music is simple, full of catchy melodies, guitar solos, and hooks galore that makes you want to put your headphones on full blast and wish that your friends could share the experience. It's not necessarily categorical, although it's called powerpop, but it's abrasive in volume, cleanly produced, and almost 'metallic.' The Boss Martians new release Pressure in the SODO has all those elements. It's one of those albums that's just so cool that no matter what kind of music the person you play it for is into, they're going to feel like doing the same things already suggested.

A lot of people have heard a snippet from "Hey Hey Yeah Yeah" on the new release in the E-Trade Commercial that originally aired three times during the Superbowl and retains a good rotation currently. With a title like that, you already know it's a party anthem, but the real standout in the song is the prominence of Nick Contento's keyboards, which add a poppy but '60s garage air to the song. Like most of the songs on Pressure in the SODO, everything is amped up and taken to its loudest point without feeling overbearing. It's hard to point to a dominant aspect of the Boss Martians since they're masters of the powerchord, Tommy Caviezel's pounding drum rhythms that stand out more than most bands, Evan Foster's tasty guitar solos and equally intense vocals, and Scott Myrene's equally heavy bass. The opening "Power of Doubt" is a good illustration of wondering why the Boss Martians are not everyone's favorite party band with a catchy chorus, organ/keyboard refrains, and some drumming that's so solid that you're nodding along to it.

Pressure in the SODO is full tilt ball rocking from start to finish, but it's Nick's keys that elevate their sound from basic rock to '60s garage pop. On "No one to No One," Nick's notes are what give the already fun song an extraterrestrial edge of weirdness. That's a great compliment considering nobody really considers being able to rock out to keyboards. If you like you're music loud, fast, but basic and slick, this one's for you. The 'slick' description applies to the recording since one can hear everything ot its fullest potential. On tracks like "Don't Want to See You Again," Evan sounds like a frontman rocker who's trying to get noticed by throwing his vocal intensity in competition with Tommy's drumming, which fully dictates the song through multiple rhythm changes that sound like a three songs rolled into one better song. The all but guitar chord refrains add a cool touch too. Other songs like "And She's Gone" take a British post punk/new wave approach that's a little more harmonic, but come off as nearly brilliant. Of course, Evan steps up some louder guitar midway through to add a distinctly metallic feel to a song that's almost an uptempo shoegazer classic. This song is a great standout with it's slightly dark melodic feel, which I doubt could have come from anywhere that doesn't have rain with it's almost layered atmosphere to it.

Pressure in the SODO is a fully charged rocker from start to finish, but the additional keyboards and the occasional synth sounds give it the otherworldly edge that fits the band's name. The Boss Martians are a rock outfit on the rise, though. Even Iggy Pop recognized the rock genius of this band and wrote a song for them called "Mars Is For Martians." He originally sent in the lyrics via a press agent and lead man Evan Foster did the music around it and made an a throttling loud rock song with an almost "Subterranean Homesick Blues" style, but Iggy himself decided to join them for the recording. The results are pretty damn cool with his narrative authority juxtaposed to Evan's all out intensity. If these guys are good enough for Iggy, that's all the proof you need. Pressure in the SODO has been ready for release for four months now and was pushed forward to now except in Europe, but the European version doesn't have Iggy on "Mars Is For Martians." Thus, we get a special treat for waiting.

The Boss Martians recently completed a long stint of touring in both the US and Europe and are currently playing around their home base in Seattle, but look for a new release on Wicked Cool Records this Fall and a likely tour to follow. Those of you who've seen them live know that the same intensity of their songs translates into a live show drenched in sweat, volume, jumping off of bars, and all out rock! The rest of you will know The Boss Martians have landed and will demand your allegiance soon enough.

The video doesn't do them justice. It's a little hint, though.

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