The New Professionals: Rules For IndustrialSlammitude And Groovination

Boiler

Mayhem Records, 1998

http://myspace.com/boilerdeathgrind

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/05/1998

Boiler is a group that revels in the fact they are difficult to categorize. One minute, they sound like Rage Against The Machine, the next minute, they're pumping out some pretty chunky metal. For the casual listener, the combination might seem to be too much to take.

Ah, but that's the case only if you stop while reading the bio. In fact, Boiler's debut release, The New Professionals (I'm truncating the title), is pretty damn good, putting forth what could be the next voice in heavy metal.

Oh, it's a bit difficult, at first. On the opening track "Superseed," it's very difficult to decipher bassist/vocalist Will Price, because he's so far buried in the mix. Fortunately, this is an isolated incident; the remainder of the album is both heavy and catchy, something I've not been able to say about many heavy metal albums - even the ones I love.

Guitarist Marc Mays uses his instrument to its limits, squeezing crunchy riff after crunchy riff out of his axe without submitting to flashy solos. In this case, Mays's style works the best; I don't think my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The New Professionals would have been as successful had there been stylish solos on this one. Drummer J. Harman knows how to work his kit, and does so masterfully. And Price weighs in on the positive side with solid vocals/grunts/screams (knowing when to use each style) and a solid bass backbone.

And despite a subtitle talking about "Industrial Slammination And Groovitude," The New Professionals is neither trip hop, industrial, nor groove rock - never mind the fact the songs all have a particular heavy groove to them. No, this is an animal all its own - and we should be thankful that Boiler decided to not follow any of the three previously named musical paths. By gleaming a little off the top of each of them and paving a fourth road - that of ass-kickin' metal with a somewhat funky side - they succeed on their own terms, not off of the success of others.

Songs like "Defleshed," "Frontin'" and "Tapeworm" all show that Boiler is most definitely a force that, if given the correct breaks, we'll have to deal with. But therein lies the problem, and it's not Boiler's fault: Who will give The New Professionals a fair shake on the radio?

Alternative rock? Why not? They helped make Rage Against The Machine a success; why shouldn't they give some of the tracks on The New Professionals a fair spin? Hard rock "specialty" shows? Again, why not? You've polluted the airwaves long enough with the new Metallica; how's about showing people what it's like to rock out again? Album rock? Hey, why not? (It sure would wake some people up!)

The only weakness that Boiler needs to overcome is the rare instance where Price's vocals are buried in the mix - well, they also need to drop the damned stupid habit of burying a song 30 minutes after the final listed track ends. (It's a good song - why put a half hour of silence in between the tracks, for Jah's sake? I swear, I'm going to kill whoever started this trend.)

Interesting to note that Boiler is a band with a sense of humor - from the drawings of industrial accidents in the CD booklet to a taped phone conversation complaining about a contract - all because someone's name is misspelled.

The New Professionals is a disc that became a pleasant surprise when I popped it into the CD player - and if there is justice in this world, Boiler will be given a fair shot to succeed courtesy of radio and the industry. Take a chance: pick this one up, and just let it rip. You won't regret it.

 

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 1998 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 Mayhem Records, and is used for informational purposes only.