Age Of Boom

Boz Boorer

Fabrique, 2016

http://www.bozboorer.com

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/31/2016

Although best known as a sideman guitar player for guys like Adam Ant and Morrissey, Martin “Boz” Boorer actually has a bit of a solo career going on as well. And as befitting a sideman, Boorer flourishes best when he has other musicians to work with.

As such, his new album Age Of Boom is a jaunty, very British collaborative disc between Boorer, who writes most the songs, and a huge variety of friends. In essence, Boorer took a song, called a pal to his recording studio in Portugal, laid down the track, and called it a day (in some cases, to read the liner notes, Boorer doesn’t even remember who laid down what instrumental part). If you are inferring that Age Of Boom is a laid-back holiday of a record, you’d be correct.

Musically, Boorer touches on several stripes of British rock as a base, but takes stylistic detours into rockabilly, Irish jigs, what sounds like a French ballad and, on “Chasin’ The Devil,” a drunken Cockney song sung by some dude nicknamed “Limey.” As Morrissey tends to be pretty serious, I’d imagine Boorer had a fun time unwinding with his pals, drinking the local Portuguese hooch and playing whatever came to mind.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Being a professional, though, Boorer ensures the disc is well produced and the songs are short and fun, the kind you’d hear in a variety of pubs depending on where you were in the United Kingdom that night. The downside to this approach is a lack of cohesion and few memorable songs; it’s not banal enough to be called “dad rock,” but it’s upbeat and genial all the same, if very out of step with modern music. The fuzzed-out rocker “Comic Book Nightmare” is probably the best of the bunch, if you’re looking for a place to start, and the duet with Tracy Vandal, “Straight To The Stars,” is average as a song but elevated by Vandal’s vulnerable yet tough performance.

More typical of this disc is “Put The Hearse In Reverse,” which sounds like one of those 1950s Halloween songs like “Monster Mash,” but with a wailing blues harmonica and a little less cheese. It’s completely ridiculous, but Boorer and pals are having such a good time that you can’t help but smile. Same goes for “Noizey Fryday,” which sounds almost like a children’s song by Laurie Berkner or something but with strident spoken-word verses by some dude named “Alex Lusty.” And, of course, there’s “El Camino Real,” which is basically ‘60s spy TV show music.

Perhaps the most biting lyric is on the title song, which chronicles a baby boomer-aged gent in a bar, nursing a beer and reminiscing to anybody and everybody about the Good Old Days. Based on the music of this disc, it seems Boorer both sympathizes with and laughs at guys like this. Age Of Boom cannot be tied to a specific time or place; it’s not modern, but it’s not nostalgic, and like most good parties, you have a great time during it can’t remember much of it the morning after.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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