Boombox – Downriverlectric
[Heard Of Gold, 2010]
Jeff Pearson, September 9, 2010
Originally published by Life’s Sweet Breath
Alabama duo BoomBox bring their sophomore effort, Downriverelectric, a set of dance-floor ready tunes in the thick of a humid southeastern summer. The steady pulse of Russ Randolph’s well-crafted backdrops are decorated with Zion Godchaux’s slinky guitar lines and smooth vocals. The mood of the album really creates this feeling of an after hours dance club where only the strong have survived the throbbing bass all night and need something to bring them down smoothly. Album opener “Dungeons” sets the tone right from the beginning, with a steady, bouncy groove flavored with clean guitar flourishes throughout. Crystal clear synths dance over the top with an incredibly catchy hook that is tough to shake.
The album unfolds in this fashion, with a basic beat and bass line, gradually peppered with funky guitar and light synth washes. BoomBox even gives Grateful Dead classic “Shakedown Street” their own treatment, taking the song and putting a spin on it by bumping up the tempo and painting it in dark electronic tones.
Downriverelectric is a pleasant way to wind the night down, or in some cases, keep the night going when it’s been renamed “morning” long ago. The bass is funky, the programming is tight and meticulous, and the vocals are laid-back and patient. The songs are sure to adapt very well to the live setting, which is where BoomBox truly shine. However, the tone of the album buds but never blossoms.