FOCUS LEVEL - Endless Boogie (No Quarter Records)
Imagine a group of 40-year-old obsessive records collector types forming a band based on their need to get out of their house a few times per week. Together, the four hit the studio, rehearse and sculpt a sound based on their wet dreams.
Over time, the band continues to harbor deeply seated musical fantasies of Billy Gibbons, Tony McPhee, and Beefheart jamming with Funhouse era Stooges. Fantasies then begin to merge into reality. Over time, the band begins to sound like this imaginary unit. Following numerous opening gig slots, the band garners a following, thus attracting the interest of a Philadelphia, PA, based indie label No Quarter Records. The band’s debut "Focus Level" is then released. The results? A disc that is an absolute stunner and reeks of good old fashioned hard work and enthusiasm.
The first track “Smoking Figs in the Backyard” begins with lead guitarist/vocalist Paul Major in a bluesy drawl, reminiscent of Don Van Vliet, proclaiming that “In the backyard, we gonna have some party time, doncha you know, we gonna get down real fine, yes we are!” The guitars slap you in your sorry face with Major’s blues based licks and nice drive over the bridge. After three minutes, the song takes a turn, increasing the momentum by flat out jamming.
The second track “The Manly Vibe” has got that great locked groove pattern of the Stooges. Major continues to yelp in that distinct drawl “Guilty, I’m down in the basement!” which you leaves you with that strange feeling what is this guy talking about? Whatever, it’s not good! In the meantime, who really cares, all I know is that the beautiful sound of guitarist Jesper Elklow’s wah wah murder spree is so righteous to these ears. The groove supplied by Chris Gray and Mark Ohe is especially nice and tight.
The guitar finesse and buildup to bombast continues on tracks “Executive Focus”, “Gimme the Awesome” and “Steak Rock”. All of these tracks continue in that time honored tradition of flat out dirty, early 70’s psych rock pummel. In particular, the riff of “Steak Rock” is intoxicating. Short bursts of guitar overload, nonsensical vocals and riffs permeate the track. One track “Low-Lifes” is a keeper. The premise is hysterical. Major sings “I’m hanging out with low-lifes”. The song is well conceived, the distortion is so thick and riffs fly. At the six-minute mark, the playing is so cohesive and forceful in it’s approach. The final track “Move Back” is a rocker with a memorable violent lead guitar intro.
All in all, this debut CD by Endless Boogie is a keeper for me. The music, while not groundbreaking, is memorable for it’s ability to meld such distinct influences into something of their own making. Anyone who is a fan of the aforementioned groups will be all over this CD. You can procure copy of the CD from the No Quarter Records website - Arthur S
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