The Boggs – Forts Unmixed Sampler (CD)

Even when one considers that these tracks are all not mixed or mastered, the beauty that is The Boggs comes through in excellent form. A clacking, noisy track mimics stomping, while the soulful singing strewn throughout really adds a touch of softness to what is a very stark and rough type of track. In a sense, The Boggs on this track (‘Forts” enact their own form of comparative politics, as they link together a very African-American style of stomping with an almost Riverdance form of footwork; what results is as intelligent and urbane of a pop track as one can get, save for possibly Midge Ure or Big Country.

This is not dated like the music of the previous two acts tends to be, but would have no problem fitting alongside all the hottest acts. ‘Remember The Orphans” has a stop start type of sound that would tie it inexorably to acts like The Rapture and The Killers, but The Boggs go that one extra strep further and put together a jangly guitar that would make The Cure proud and a set of mush-mouthed (in a good way) vocals that would make Kurt Cobain blush. While there are a number of acts that have their songs remixed by the hottest DJs, I have no doubt that ‘Remember The Orphans” could be transferred to the dance floor with virtually nothing in the way of change. With the first two tracks weighing in at exactly three minutes, one begins to see that The Boggs really do not have the time to screw around with their listeners.

This devotion to shorter tracks means that there are little in the way of openings, and those that do exist (the slight one during ‘Arm In Arm”) is more of a running start than a three minute explication of the band’s moods before the track. The rich, full sound of The Boggs really creates a specific atmosphere in which to listen to their music; in fact, the drone of a track like ‘Arm In Arm” is the sugar cube one pours The Boggs over for maximum enjoyment. There are only four tracks on this EP, and yet The Boggs create a very specific sound for themselves. If The Boggs can come up with these tracks before the masterful hands of a producer can work with them, there is little doubt that ‘Forts” will be one of the most heralded releases of 2006.

Top Track: Arm In Arm

Rating: 6.4/10

The Boggs – Forts Unmixed Sampler / 2006 Arena Rock / 4 Tracks / http://www.theboggs.com / Reviewed 10 January 2006

[JMcQ]

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