Monday, 15 February 2016

BIG BOY BLOATER & THE LIMITS - ALBUM REVIEW

Big Boy Bloater & The Limits - Luxury Hobo (Provogue/Mascot Label Group) 
Big Boy Bloater & The Limits - Luxury Hobo

Release Date: 26th February 2016

Big Boy Bloater is one of those names that I've heard of for years but never taken the time to listen to - shame on me for that. This new album, the superbly titled 'Luxury Hobo', is nine tracks full of soul, blues, rock'n'roll and a sense of raw, unfettered energy that is utterly infectious. Opening with 'Devils Not Angels', only the most cold hearted and soulless music fan would remain unmoved  by the swirling organ riff and chugging blues rhythm section that gets this album off to a storming start like the spinning, smoking wheels of a 1950s convertible starting a drag race....for pinks, of course. Then comes 'It Came Out Of The Swamp', all Black Keys with slowed down Lemmy-esque bass lines and the kind of rasping, sing along chorus that will have sweating venues singing along with whisky soaked breath. This is dirty stuff, seriously dirty stuff.

The light, poppy, surf melody of 'I Love You (But I Can't Stand Your Friends)' doesn't paint the full picture as Mr Bloater sets about a series of character assassinations of his beau's friends - we've all been there, right? The dirt is back on 'The Devil's Tail' which has all the bluesy slide guitar fun of Jon Spencer and his various crews while the main man's voice is in excellent gravel and nails form. I can only imagine these guys being a huge amount of fun to watch live as the instrumentation is so loose but nailed on and each note bounces off the next. On 'I Got The Feeling Someone's Watching Me' things get a little slinky and mysterious and you can only imagine this as the soundtrack for a sassy lady to make a subtle yet distinct entrance to a New Orleans bar and make a purposeful bee line to a man in a large Stetson...or just a stalker's theme.

'Luxury Hobo Blues' is all based around a kooky, quirky little riff that sounds like my brain feels when I drag my sorry ass out of bed each morning, all angles and twisted edges but slowly it emerges in to a real groove - as if there was ever any doubt. More than any other, this tune carries the theme of the album; the question of why so many of us have so much but feel so depressed and detached from life. Despite a slightly dark ending to the lyrical theme, 'Robot Girlfriend' is a more upbeat tune and the groove is so deep that you can't help but get in to it, as Madonna always wanted us to. Big Boy takes things down a notch on 'All Things Considered' with a real Van Morrison-esque soul tune with that rasping vocal smoothed out by some rich, velvety keys. The album closes with 'Not Cool Man' and this is the party piece without a doubt. The slide guitar and jumping keys vie for attention like preening men in front of the only single woman in the bar but the basic theme here is fun so just get up and dance for crying out loud. I thoroughly enjoyed this album from the point of view of fun, musicianship and lyrical content - you can't ask for more than that can you?

More information: www.facebook.com/thebigboybloaterpage

Live Dates:

8th May - The Glee Club, Birmingham
12th May - Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
13th May - The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds
15th May - The 100 Club, London
20th May - The Old Fire Station, Oxford
21st May - The Railway, Winchester
26th May - The Musician, Leicester

28th May - Mr Kyps, Poole

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