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The Set-Up

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Album Review

These Seattle garage punks stick with producer Johnny Sangster for their fifth album, which finds the band whittled down to its core of lead vocalist/guitarist Evan Foster and keyboard whiz Nick C. Musically though, they continue to grow as they move into early Costello/Cheap Trick pop/punk. The songwriting has taken a major step forward, along with the sound, but both are still firmly rooted in the scrappy '60s style that is obviously close to the duo's hearts. Foster could stand to lose some of his overt Costello-isms on songs like "Run and Hide," which sounds like an outtake from This Year's Model. But there's no denying the propulsive thrust of "Looking for You," with its Townsend-like guitar runs and cheesy synth bubbling under the surface, or the opening, driving, double slap-in-the-face of "I Want to Be Your Addiction" followed by "Kill My Telephone." There is some late Beatles influence in the "I Am the Walrus" opening riff of the epic "Vows," which, at five minutes, is the album's longest and most creative track as it breaks into an unusual Santana-ish jazzy midsection. The Doors are also evident in the closing, slightly experimental meanderings of the title track. The Boss Martians get a lot of mileage out of three chords, and even though we've heard all the elements before, the twosome mixes them with enough explosive energy to make this crisp music seem fresh, if not quite new again.


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 to...
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The Set-Up, Boss Martians
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