BOON – Red Alert
Active in Austria since 1998, Boon is finally coming to my attention because of guitarist Ken Straetman, who is also in the death/thrash metal band Days of Loss. "Red Alert" is their latest EP, consisting of 6 songs (5 originals and a remix of "Fire" that ends the recording) in the groove metal vein – very familiar to those who love the New Orleans scene with a touch of latter day Life of Agony. Imagine Pepper Keegan-era C.O.C., a little bit of Crowbar, and the aforementioned L.O.A. in terms of the honed in hooks, down tuned chord choices, and easy on the ear choruses.
Wolfgang Pendl has a whiskey soaked grit that is decidedly American sounding in the vocal department, making "Bleeding out for You" and the chugging "Forgive and Forget" instant head chargers to the good. The quartet are impressive when locking onto this comfortable bluesy hook and solid, in the pocket rhythmic tempo – the title track the best example as bassist Georg Devilson and drummer Matthias Reithofer accent the Straetman/Pendl twin guitar foundation in mid-tempo or slower groove fashion, getting increasingly heavier during the last minute of the song.
Where Boon succeed and other acts fail in this genre relates to emphasis on setting up individual songs – yes being groove-oriented is about that strong riff or tempo to grab the listener, but you need to fill this out with proper transitions, vocals, and performances. Let’s hope that these Austrians are able to find another record deal and put out a killer third full-length, as "Red Alert" proves the band knows what they are doing.