Boss Hog
Whiteout


3.5
great

Review

by Pedro B. USER (303 Reviews)
June 3rd, 2010 | 32 replies | 5,409 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Appealing and worthy indie-pop marred by a little too much repetition.

Love can do funny things to people. Like make the leader of an abrasive indie-noise band feel like starting a side project hinged around radio-friendly, chorus laden pop. Enter Boss Hog, the band Jon Spencer – of Blues Explosion fame – formed with wife Cristina Martinez and a revolving cast of trustworthy musicians. Formed in the late 80’s, the group released three albums, each separated by exactly five years, and with 2000’s Whiteout as their latest representative.

Whiteout was the album that granted Boss Hog a larger exposure, allowing them to get some radio airplay and tour quite extensively. Most of this was on account of the singles, all of them perfect pop-rock songs which perfectly mixed radio-friendliness with indie integrity; however, the album as a whole is not to be dismissed, either, presenting an overall strong set of songs flawed by a few minor problems.

For this album, Spencer and Martinez welcomed keyboardist Mark Boyce into the fold, which already comprised Hollis Queens on the beatbox and Jens Jurgensen on bass guitar. Boyce’s keyboard input – mostly produced via Farfisa organ – had a strong part in molding the group’s sound, which on this album consists of a particularly funky strand of electronic indie-pop, sometimes invaded by distorted, Explosionesque guitars. The songs on Whiteout all revolve around electronic drumbeats (ranging from jungle/trance to industrial), retro-happy keyboard passages and the sweet, yet attitude-driven vocals of Cristina Martinez. The songwriting, while indie enough to not shock the fans, also makes a conscious effort to include catchy, instantly appealing choruses, a task in which it mostly succeeds; however, the exceedingly similar structure and sound of each song inevitably lead to a feeling of repetition, which is particularly present in the last few songs.

In fact, the album is at its strongest during the first half. The first seven songs hold very few uninteresting moments, and it is in this section that three-quarters of the standout tracks can be located. Opener Whiteout already asserts itself as one of them, serving as a nice introduction to the album’s sound while concocting the first of many memorable choruses. However, the formula only gets better on the two best songs on the album, which can be found back-to-back. Fear For You is a more staccato track, with great vocal work from Martinez, while Get It While You Wait is the perfect indie-pop single, with a riff that just begs for airplay and an instantly sticky chorus. The remainder of the songs in the first half, while not attaining the level of the standouts, are nevertheless interesting enough to keep the listener’s interest and make up for the sole slightly uninspired moment in Chocolate.

Unfortunately, after Jaguar, things get slightly less interesting and much more repetitive. The final few tracks of the album suffer from excessive rehashing of the group’s formula, and not enough of the choruses which made the rest of the album so appealing. This is particularly true of the tracks where a male vocalist – presumably Spencer himself – duets with Martinez; while bringing the overall sound closer to Explosion territory, these songs also lack the appeal that the best moments of this album can muster. Still, not all is lost, as the album picks up in time for a grand finale, with the mildly interesting Trouble and the short, sweet Monkey, one minute and fifty seconds of distorted guitars, processed vocals and a deliciously goofy chorus (”you’re just a monkey in a magazine”). Overall, however, tracks like Itchy and Scratchy and Defender ultimately harm the album as a whole, constituting the main misstep of Boss Hog’s third album.

Still, even with these minor flaws, there is much for an indie lover to appreciate. From Martinez’s sultry figure on the artwork to her equally sultry vocals (try not to feel a chill when she recites ”I have a package for you”) and the appealing, if often simplistic, choruses, Boss Hog’s third release is well worth a look by Spencer fans and those who like their pop alternative enough not to embarrass.

Recommended Tracks
Whiteout
Fear For You
Get It While You Wait
Monkey



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mordecai.
June 3rd 2010


8278 Comments


god you suck

qwe3
June 3rd 2010


21362 Comments


fucking lol'd so hard mordecai

Meatplow
June 3rd 2010


5524 Comments


I remember jerking off to one of their music vids when I was a young'un

BigHans
June 3rd 2010


26454 Comments


The only song I've ever heard from them is "Get a Job."

ReturnToRock
June 3rd 2010


3448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

OK guys, what the fuck!? You said my reviews were too long, so I shorten them. You say there's too much first-person, so I reduce it. I KNOW my grammar, spelling, and syntax are good.

So why do I "suck" Mordecai? What makes you laugh qwe3? I didn't want to say anything and just took it in stride so as not to sound childish, but now I'm starting to get a little miffed by you slagging my every review. What gives?!

And Mordecai, your usual argument of "your reviews are bad" is no longer valid, I'm afraid.

Mordecai.
June 3rd 2010


8278 Comments


i'm afraid

Inveigh
June 3rd 2010


24963 Comments


I'm confused as to why this review sucks too. but then I haven't read all of Pedro's reviews, I'm just talking about this one.

Digging: YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

BigHans
June 3rd 2010


26454 Comments


I dont think Pedro is a bad writer, I think he does a good job. I think people pan him because of his tastes and the albums he chooses.

ReturnToRock
June 3rd 2010


3448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes. I'll admit. I like a lot of cheesy albums, and I review a lot of albums which I know are bound to be sucky. It's who I am!

BigHans
June 3rd 2010


26454 Comments


Yeah just keep being who you are. I get alot of fags who try to give me shit about loving AC/DC and Metallica. I love every second of it.

Inveigh
June 3rd 2010


24963 Comments


yeah fuck the haters man. you read sports guy today Hans?

BigHans
June 3rd 2010


26454 Comments


Of course, Ive been waiting for it all week.

Inveigh
June 3rd 2010


24963 Comments


your thoughts on him moving Ray Allen ahead of Reggie on the pyramid?

BigHans
June 3rd 2010


26454 Comments


He's going by titles/finals appearances, so really can't argue. They are basically the same player when you think about it. Ray is a little smoother, was Reggie was more colorful.

Inveigh
June 3rd 2010


24963 Comments


agreed about titles/finals appearances, but then again Reggie never played with anyone even close to the caliber of a '08 KG, '08 playoffs Paul Pierce or 2010 Rondo.

I'd still take Reggie in his prime over Ray in his.

BigHans
June 3rd 2010


26454 Comments


Yeah true. The best player Reggie ever played with was probably Rik Smits. Starting 5 of the 98 Pacers team that almost took down Jordan: Reggie, Mark Jackson, Mullen, Dale Davis, Smits.

Pretty sure Ray Ray has an easier time, since he's their 3rd option. Reggie had all of the pressure. Not to say Ray isnt a great clutch shooter, cause he is, but he is no Reggie.

Inveigh
June 3rd 2010


24963 Comments


exactly. I mean you could argue some guys from the 2000 team and 2004 team were better than Smits or Mullen (Jalen Rose, Ron Artest) but Reggie wasn't quite Reggie anymore.

BigHans
June 3rd 2010


26454 Comments


I wont give Artest credit for anything he did for the Pacers considering he ruined the franchise. Smits was actually a great clutch shooter, and he always stepped it up in the playoffs. His downfalls where he couldn't rebound for shit and got pushed around alot, but thats what the Davis brothers were for.

Inveigh
June 3rd 2010


24963 Comments


no Smits was awesome during the 96-98 span, one of the best centers in the East (if not the best). Artest DID ruin the Pacers, but those were also his best years as an NBA player.

bighoss
June 4th 2010


3 Comments


asshole




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