Ravage And Savage

Boulder

Tee Pee Records, 2000

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boulder_(band)

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/18/2002

I'll make no bones about it right here in the beginning of this review: Boulder is a band who confuses me.

On the surface, they seem to be your average stoner rock band - especially when on the cover of their latest release Ravage And Savage they look like they're connected to a bong using tubing you'd find at your local muffler shop. Yet listening to the music on this disc - combining the new disc with their first full-length offering my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Rage Of It All - shows a group which is one part Queens Of The Stone Age, one part Napalm Death and one part Helmet. The end result is a bit messy, but isn't disastrous like I might have imagined when I heard the first notes.

Boulder further confuses me by leaving out any information about the band in their liner notes - never mind the fact I've misplaced the bio sheet I was sent with the disc. Note to the group: If you want to be more well-known outside of Cleveland, how's about telling us something about the group, like who's in it, huh?

Boulder seems to plow through songs like "Funeral Day," "Ravage And Savage" and "Two Track Mind" like a semi-trailer driving through bubble wrap, though the band's approach is a little sloppier just in the tightness (or lack thereof) of the group. It also would have been nice had there been actual vocals, not just screams on top of the sonic soup. (That said, if you listen to this disc with headphones, the vocals come out a little clearer.)

Here, then, is the curious thing about this disc. Had the album ended simply with Ravage And Savage, things would have probably been a little better. I understand the desire of Boulder to offer listeners a slice of the band's history by including The Rage Of It All, but in all honesty, including the nine tracks of this album (as well as "Scream Of The Iron Messiah" from a split 45) isn't a benefit for the band. The only negative, though, is that sitting through 67 minutes' worth of muddied musical focus gets to be a bit taxing. Smaller doses would possibly have helped; I would have been happy to call Ravage And Savage worthwhile of your entertainment dollar on its own, warts and all.

It's the paradoxical Sword of Damocles that hung over Boulder's head with this two-fer - and while there is enough on Ravage And Savage's 10 tracks that make me curious to hear the group's upcoming outing (due a little later in 2002), taking this whole disc in one sitting is a bit too much.

Rating: C+

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© 2002 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Tee Pee Records, and is used for informational purposes only.