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Album Review

It's difficult to consider Boss Hog without invoking the name of Jon Spencer. Not only is the Blues Explosion leader a member of Boss Hog, but he's also married to Boss Hog leader Christina Martinez, so his overwrought post-modern downtown, white-boy blues-funk is always lurking just around the corner. To her credit, on Whiteout Martinez keeps the dude at bay by taking the aesthetic helm (taking bass player Jens Jurgensen, drummer Hollis Queens, and keyboardist Mark Boyce along for the ride, too). The ten cuts that comprise this, Boss Hog's sixth album, are obviously her vessel. Don't be fooled by the dreamy atmospherics, the sultry vocal ruminations, or the awkwardly funky new romantic synth beats; she's painting the picture of garage punk and new wave girl groups as refracted through a 21st century looking glass. So, while it's occasionally as cheesy as Human League or as awkwardly skittish as the Rezillos, Whiteout ultimately finds Boss Hog able to manipulate the best of these associations to its benefit and remain as smoldering and funky as a hot NYC August night. And, while past recorded excursions have been hit or miss scattered affairs, Whiteout is a cohesive sonic effort that manages to keep its sneer without resorting to too many of Spencer's goofball faux-Elvis machismo antics. Christina Martinez has broken the indie rock rules again.


Formed: 1989 in New York City, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '90s

All-star N.Y.C. blues-punk combo Boss Hog was helmed by the husband-and-wife team of singer Cristina Martinez and singer/guitarist Jon Spencer, who'd previously teamed in the legendary cult band Pussy Galore. The duo formed Boss Hog to fill a last-minute cancellation at the famed CBGB's, earning instant notoriety when Martinez performed their debut show au naturel; guitarists Jerry Teel and Kurt Wolf, bassist Pete Shore, and drummer Charlie Ondras completed the lineup for 1989's EP Drinkin', Lechin',...
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