At Maximum Volume
By Eric Chavez
Good music not only requires amazing influences, it demands it. With such influences as The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Faces and The Jam, it is only destined that The Booze become a noteworthy rock band in their own right. And so they do. With their LP At Maximum Volume, the band has seemed to have groomed their sound to not only let their influences come through, but let a little of their own unique brand of music shine as well.
The final cut, “Borderline” may be, dare I say, their “Gimme Shelter.” The most haunting and stunning track on the LP, “Borderline” lets the juices from The Rolling Stones seep deep into their sound. Even the touch of gospel soul lies beneath the rugged production lines. But don’t be mistaken; every second of the track also let’s the personalities of Chaz Tolliver and Randy Michaels break through.
An Atlanta-based band, the dusty sounds of southern rock does spike up every now and then, sounding more Lynyrd Skynyrd or Ray Parker Jr. than anything else, making the perfect soundtrack to a lone bar in the middle of nowhere. This sound comes out more than usual on the tracks “Straight to Hell” and “The Scene,” songs that belong on a jukebox.
“New York Women,” another Rolling Stones-esque track, doesn’t quite catch as much magic as “Borderline,” and that’s most likely because it sounds as if it could have been written by Mick Jagger himself. There’s nothing original about it, making it sound more like an homage than something new. But the band does get their most exciting on the track “Wild One,” and even though it sounds like it was written while listening to “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (the original Rolling Stones version, not the Aretha Franklin one) it still has its own spirit.
Blogger Perez Hilton calls the band “equal parts Winehouse and some lo-fi garage band down the street,” but anyone who actually listens to the record knows that simply isn’t true. Lo-fi isn’t really how one should label their sound, and they are about as far from Winehouse as one could get.
At the end of the day, this album is for rock purists who miss the old sound of bare bones rock. The sound of the neo-rock/punk/pop is no where to be found along the tracks on At Maximum Volume. If you want to hear something raw, exciting, punk without the pretension, and something completely real, it’s time to play The Booze’s new LP… at maximum volume.
The Booze play Star Bar on March 12. Tickets are $10 at the door.