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Making the Rounds

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Album Review

On their fourth album, the Northwest based former surf-rockers extricate themselves completely from the reverb-laden instrumental rock waters that grounded their early sound. They now prefer to ride the waves of grungy American garage punk instead, a move they had been shifting toward on their last release. The results are pretty much what you'd expect: loud, brash, trashy guitar/organ-fueled rock with roots in early Paul Revere, the Standells, the Sonics, and Mitch Ryder. Like fellow revisionists the Chesterfield Kings, the Lyres, and the Original Sins, the Boss Martians don't add much to their influences, but they dive into the retro genre with energy, guts, and a ton of conviction. Lead singer/guitarist/primary songwriter Evan Foster makes the most of his soulful pipes, which, along with Nick C.'s Hammond organ, powers these songs that snarl and claw with vicious energy, but won't win any awards for originality. The sound is full and clean, with all four instruments prominent in the mix, yet the effect is still as biting and terse as the most primitively recorded Nuggets group. References to Pete Townsend's guitar runs and Ray Manzarek's fiery organ occasionally peek out of the mix, but the lack of covers proves that Foster wants to make his mark on the genre, albeit within established garage rock boundaries. Songs like "She Moves Me" and the Who-ish "Put Some Hurt on You," with their volcanic guitar/keyboard interaction, practically explode out of the speakers, partially due to Johnny Sangster's (Supersuckers, the Posies, Young Fresh Fellows) savvy production. They're not out to change the world, but if they keep releasing albums as strong as Making the Rounds, the Boss Martians will at least shake it up for a while.

Biography

Formed: Tacoma, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The Boss Martians' style of '60s-influenced guitar pop was debuted in 1995 upon the release of their first self-titled full-length on Dionysus Records. Accompanied by an influence of Paul Revere & the Raiders, the Beach Boys, the Trashmen and the Astronauts, the Seattle natives also had the chance to scatter several singles throughout the years on various different labels before their second album, 13 Evil Tales, came out in 1996. But it wasn't until 1998 that the Boss Martians had the chance...
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Making the Rounds, Boss Martians
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