Volume 90, Issue 66

Wednesday, January 22, 1997

gabbin'


ENTERTAINMENT
 

A bogie short of pair



The Bogmen
Life Begins at 40 Million
Arista


New York is known for its thoroughly diverse music scene. An energetic experimental pop sextet from the Big Apple fits right in with the city's reputation. What most defines The Bogmen's unique sound is a knack for fusing fluctuating vocals with a full range of musical influences.

The album begins with "Big Burn," an upbeat track with a distinct Asian foundation. As the album goes on, Bill Campion's lead vocals rise, fall, stutter and flow, creating little friction with his instrumentally-inclined cronies. The song "Yellar" stands out with its medium chunky salsa beats and eerie, reverberated vocals.

A couple of tunes on the album like "Dr. Jerome (Love Tub, Doctor)" come across like Black Grape minus the charisma, but this song does contain a memorable musical Bogmen moment – a thick, sustained trumpet that haunts the slower parts of the song.

Every track on the album is its own separate creation but songs like "Piss Tongue" and "Englewood" have tapped the energy this band has but hasn't yet perfected. At times the fullness of the band's sound is a little flaccid and a good ear will be left wanting the thickness that is essential for pop-based extrapolation.

"Raga" is a standout track as it mingles east and west Indian native sounds with Campion's vocals. The other golden moment of the album is a saloon piano interlude the listener must wait for until the final track – which happens to be hidden. Yes, it's overdone but still a nice touch.

The verdict – this is a polished album with good vocals and a wide range of foreign influences, but it has its slow moments and is distinctly hollow at times (an instrument short?)

But one thing is definite, these guys are not afraid to show their sense of humour. They are a fun new band that with a little work could really go somewhere.

–Mark Lewandowski






To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca