The Bocks – Demo (CD)

First thing that really got me going about The Bocks would have to be their guitar hooks, something that predominates in its Dick Dale-like quality during “Mexico”. The dual-part harmony is off to such a minor degree that The Bocks really sound like Defiance, Ohio in that regard – sounding more like they are just more than friends. With this style of harmonizing comes a greater amount of cohesion with the listeners, and a much less mechanical sense to the demo. The guitar solo in the aforementioned first track breaks us back to the days of the Beach Boys and Lynyrd Skynrd. Tim’s drumming, while pretty much mired in a time-keeping occupation during this first track, is always spot-on and provides the perfect surf-rock backdrop for the continual assault by the guitar. Continuing the multi-part harmony for “Miss Montreal”, the smoothed-out vocals of The Bocks provide a marked opposite to the crunchy distortion of the guitar. The start-stop of the chorus during “Miss Montreal” just pounds the chorus one word at a time into the listeners head, and keeps it there with a head-bopping tempo.

Mixing Boston and Weezer into “Miss Montreal”, The Bocks’ experimentation only involve more and more listeners as the disc spins on. In an odd homage to Elvis Costello, “Bus Stop” uses a ska-infused guitar line and a stutter-step drum line to augment the Joey Ramone-like vocals laid on this track. Metric in all aspect, the scales used as the guitar solo during “Bus Stop” surprisingly work with the off-kilter style of the track. The strung-out vocals on “Bus Stop” provide the final nail in the coffin for why The Bocks should be on pop-rock radio as well as the typical CMJ circuit, a perfect example of a band that is equally solid at arrangement as they are with crafting the finest pop hooks.

Boston has been sheltering the Bocks for too long, and it is high time for individuals nationwide to hear the gospel of The Bocks. Confident enough in their music that they feel their music and lyrics will stand for themselves, The Bocks intentionally leave two tracks on this EP without a name – “Song 007” and “Song 010”. The power-pop of “Song 010” and ohh-ohs of the rest of the band just further cement the band as one band that is firmly in their stride. Here’s to hoping the expanded nature of the forthcoming EP does not provide The Bocks with too much of a hurdle.

Top Track: Miss Montreal

Rating; 7.6/10

The Bocks – Demo / 2004 Honey Dream Publishing / 5 Tracks / / / Reviewed 27 September 2004

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