Bobaflex – Tales From Dirt Town (2007)

Bobalflex - Tales From Dirt Town (2007)

Bobaflex – Tales From Dirt Town (2007, TVT Records)

  1. Sellout
  2. Born Again
  3. That Old Speed
  4. Satisfied
  5. Need A Drink
  6. Savior
  7. Be With You
  8. I Still Believe
  9. Goodbye
  10. One Bad Day
  11. Paranoid
  12. Home


Band Lineup:
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

Bobaflex official website
Bobaflex @ MySpace
TVT Records

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… will appeal to a wide range of Rock fans.

Bottom Line:
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’.

Endeverafter – Kiss Or Kill (2007)

Endeverafter - Kiss Or Kill (2007)

Endeverafter – Kiss Or Kill (2007, Razor & Tie Records)

  1. I Wanna Be Your Man
  2. Baby Baby Baby
  3. Gotta Get Out
  4. Poison
  5. Next Best Thing
  6. Tip Of My Tongue
  7. Road To Destruction
  8. All Night
  9. Slave
  10. From The Ashes Of Sin
  11. Long Way Home

Endeverafter Endeverafter (pic 2)

Band Lineup:
Michael Grant – Vocals, Lead Guitar
Kristan Mallory – Rhythm Guitar
Tommi Andrews – Bass
Eric Humbert – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Butch Walker – guest vocals on ‘Next Best Thing’
Grace Sims – guest vocals on ‘Long Way Home’
Jessica Catron – Cello on ‘Next Best Thing’ & ‘Long Way Home’

Producer: Stacy Jones (American Hi-Fi)

Total Time – 48:00

Endeverafter @ MySpace
Razor & Tie Records

When Poison and Cinderella came around New England in the summer of 2006, the opening act was Endeverafter. I remember thinking at the time that I would only go to the show if they had a “proper”, or well-known, opener. To me, a band I had never heard of before didn’t warrant me buying a ticket to another Poison summer show. I missed out on something really good!

Endeverafter have been around for a few years, releasing an E.P. (BLOOD ON THE STAGE) in 2005, and touring with major Hard Rock acts like KISS, Poison, & Cinderella. The band has started to build a national following after taking the Sacremento and L.A. scenes by storm.  You can hear the influences of AC/DC, Skid Row, Guns’n’Roses, Aerosmith, and Motley Crue in the music but the band still retains their own identity.

Opening song, and first single and video, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, gets the party started  with a machine gun guitar riff, kind of like a speeding Rolling Stones/GnR collaboration. Guitars everywhere, just how good Hard Rock should be. ‘Baby Baby Baby’ (second single and video) follows up with a mono opening and kicks into a gritty groove that Axl Rose should take note of. Guitars alive, hooks all over, you just can’t help raising your fist and singing along. Listen for the guitar solos, the band knows how to incorporate three guitarists into the overall sound, it makes it heavier and thicker. The end of the song is one ’80s style solo that makes you feel like the band is playing live in your face. Right off the bat you’ve got Hard Rock music that’s fun and exciting.

The party doesn’t stop after two songs, ‘Gotta Get Out’ is a single waiting to happen. The song is one big melodic hook with a big guitar sound and, what I like to call “AC/DC drums” – not overbearing but doing the job well. The chorus is simple but made for radio sing-a-longs. I’m surprised this isn’t a lead single because it’s very catchy. The opening guitars and main riff of ‘Poison’ just screams Motley Crue! That ain’t a bad thing at all for Hard Rock fans! The solo mid-way though sounds Malmsteen-esque but not wanking like the great Yngwie is prone to do. I really like this song too, it just drives you.

After four solid rockers, you need to slow it down a little. Ballad time ensues with ‘Next Best Thing’ and it sounds really good. I’m a sucker for a song with acoustic guitars supplementing the sound, Endeverafter making good use of all the guitars again along with another solid solo. Get the lighters out for this one. ‘Tip Of My Tongue’ kicks the album back into high gear with another speedy riff and catchy chorus and ‘Road To Destruction’ gives off a pounding drum sound and the underlying riffs just keep going and going.

Just like ‘Gotta Get Out’, how ‘All Night’ is not a Rock radio single is beyond me. I’m going to take a lot of criticism for this comparison but this sounds like a Hard Rock Rick Springfield! I could see Rick doing a lighter, early ’80s version of this song. ‘All Night’ grabs hold of the listener and gets them singing, maybe even dancing? It’s a radio friendly tune and it’s very good, one of my favorites on the record. I get a Green Day vibe with ‘Slave’ but, when the chorus kicks in, it goes away. I like the quick falsetto in the chorus for a couple of words, it adds dimension.

‘From The Ashes Of Sin’ is not speedy like the rest of the rockers on the album, it’s more mid-tempo but retains power. Again, the triple guitar attack really thickens the sound, kind of like Iron Maiden did on 2000’s BRAVE NEW WORLD. This isn’t Maiden of course but when each guitar joins in the main riff one at a time, you can’t help but think it. ‘Long Way Home’ is a complete about face/change of pace from the in your face Hard Rock the album delivers. Acoustic guitars abound and the cello! It’s almost country, maybe Eagles? It’s got that laid back California feel to it. Definitely Ballad #2 and definitely a winner.

Just one last thought….. I have listened to this CD for the better part of two weeks and I have been trying to figure out the vocals. Michael Grant has a sound and style I’ve heard before but I’ve been trying to figure out a comparison. I think I’ve finally found it! If you listen to the first two songs, tell me that Grant doesn’t sound similar to Jaime St. James from Black ‘n Blue! Back in the day, Jaime could belt it out and Michael proves he can too in a similar style.

Bottom Line:
I’ve listened to my fair share of new Hard Rock bands in the last few years and I have to say that Endeverafter delivers the goods. They take different influences from the last two decades, incorporate it with the three guitars, and add their own swagger. Favorite songs here: ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, ‘Baby Baby Baby’, ‘Gotta Get Out’, ‘All Night’, and ‘Long Way Home’. I like the whole album, not a bad song there but I really think the hidden gems are ‘Gotta Get Out’, ‘All night’, and ‘Long Way Home’. KISS OR KILL has become an instant favorite and a late entry for my Top 10 of 2007. If you’re a Hard Rock fan, go out and buy this album, it’s released today.

Release date confirmed for U.D.O. – Metallized: 20 Years Of Metal

A release date for U.D.O.’s new compilation, METALLIZED – 20 YEARS OF METAL, has been confirmed as November 30th through AFM Records. Not sure if this release date is only for Europe or if it’s worldwide, more information as I get it.

For more information on this release, please click here.