Bobaflex – Tales From Dirt Town (2007, TVT Records)
- Born Again
- That Old Speed
- Need A Drink
- Be With You
- I Still Believe
- One Bad Day
Marty McCoy – Vocals, Guitars
Shaun McCoy – Vocals, Guitars
Jerod Mankin – Vocals, Bass
Mike Steele – Guitars
Tommy Johnson – Drums
Producer: Russ T. Cobb (Sevendust)
Total Time – 45:00
I have to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much when I put this disc in. Bobaflex looked like a band that I wouldn’t be interested in but, when I sat back and hit PLAY, I was immeadiately assaulted with pummelling riffs, in your face vocals, double bass drums, and screams! The band definitely got my attention.
I would describe this West Virginian quintet as a hybrid of Black Label Society, Sevendust, Disturbed, Godsmack, Alice In Chains, hardcore and punk all rolled into one. It’s hard to deny the band’s more modern vibe, something I have a hard time getting into, but the way the music is delivered is extremely intense. There is power and aggression mixed with melody, it’s not all new generation Metal but something unique.
Opening track ‘Sellout’ immeadiately kicks the album into high gear with a thrashy riff and delivery but then it slows down slightly come the chorus. It’s a fast aggressive song that you can immeadiately draw the comparisons with Sevendust. ‘Born Again’ continues the immeadiate pummelling but settles into a less frantic Metal groove. It’s still a fast song and the main riff gets the fists pumping.
‘That Old Speed’ continues Bobaflex’s assault on the ears but does manage to slow down for the chorus, which is very melodic. The drumming on this song is almost frantic, trying to keep up with the guitars, cymbals crashing everywhere. I like the gritty vocal, I can envision veins popping out of necks. I was surprised by ‘Satisfied’. The song starts out very slow and haunting and turns into a melodic mid-tempo, almost ballad-ish at times. The vocal has that bite to it but it becomes very melodic when the background vocals come in, this song is very Alice In Chains like to my ears. So far, this is my favorite song of the record.
Black Label tendencies come out in ‘Need A Drink’ but what a better song to do it in? This is another hard charging track that I can see throngs of concertgoers hurling themselves around to. The guitars and drums just drive the song and I’m waiting for the singer’s throat to fall out. The vocal is just powerful. After getting smacked by ‘Need A Drink’, ‘Savior’ starts out acoustic with a very mellow vocal that kicks to a mid-tempo melodic crusher. This is definitely a Rock radio track and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a single at some point.
I hear a Nickelback/Puddle Of Mudd influence on ‘Be With You’, for me that’s not good as I can’t stand either band. It’s mostly in the guitar lines because the vocal sets the song, and band, from these media darlings. It’s not a bad song, just average, like something that’s already on the radio. A quiet acoustic and percussion arrangement opens ‘I Still Believe’ that reminds me of Alice In Chains Unplugged but that quickly fades as the bridge and chorus follow with a heavy guitar and a drum sound that sounds similar to Roger Taylor’s ‘We Will Rock You’. I find that I enjoy the quieter moments on this song. ‘Goodbye’ returns to the carnage of the previous headstompers but I feel like I’ve heard it before although I do like the guitar drone and the layered guitar squeal. There is a trend building here with a quiet, or softer, line or two and then the song kicks back in. ‘Goodbye’ has it, so does ‘I Still Believe’ and ‘Savior’.
‘One Bad Day’ has a bad ass guitar riff and a chanting chorus that drives the song but there are a few of the “quiet” interludes again. Just a line or two but everything that makes the song powerful is taken out. In this case, it makes the song a bit manic and leans a bit towards the BLS side of things. ‘Paranoid’ is mid-tempo and strong but I’m not feeling it, sounds to much like Nickelback again. That may appeal to fans of more mainstream Rock but I’m more Traditional Metal in my tastes. The guitar tone is very good and the vocal is intense.
The first proper single off TALES FROM DIRT TOWN is ‘Home’. Pretty ballsy for a band to make their first single the last song on the album, most of the time it’s right up front. I’m a sucker for acoustic guitars and they are right here at the beginning of the song and the vocal is not as aggressive as previous songs, it’s more melodic. There’s a grand/epic quality to the music, you can hear the guitar layers, you can feel the emotion. It’s simple, clean, and well done…..it will appeal to a wide range of Rock fans.
Like I mentioned at the beginning, I wasn’t expecting much from this album. You get these new bands, no matter the genre, and all the do is copy each other. There is only a few original ideas and the rest is all copycat. What I like is that Bobaflex takes the current styles and adds an aggresion, a power, that you don’t hear from the current top dogs of Rock radio. The band uses it’s influences but still creates their own identity. Overall, a solid album and I am definitely going to check out the band’s previous work. Favorite songs here: ‘Home’, ‘Sellout’, ‘Satisfied’, and ‘Savior’.