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Boss Hog

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Album Review

While Jon Spencer spent much of his time in Pussy Galore trying to destroy rock & roll as fans know it, by the time he got the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion rolling, he'd come to the belated conclusion that old-school rock and R&B could be pretty cool after all, and since the history of Boss Hog — one of Spencer's seemingly infinite number of side projects — overlaps with Pussy Galore, you get to witness this transformation over the course of their recording career. While Boss Hog's first album was a nearly unlistenable morass of aural sludge, six years later, their self-titled major-label debut turns out to be a very solid album in the same rootsy grit-rock vein as the Blues Explosion's best work. If anything, Christina Martinez, Spencer's partner in crime (and spouse), is a stronger vocal presence on this record, if only because she hasn't developed quite as elaborate a shtick as Spencer — she just belts it out in a sturdy blues-punk style, unlike Spencer's often amusing but sometimes irritating collection of blues and rockabilly affectations. Boss Hog also displays a far greater willingness to get funky than JSBX; they're not ready to face the Meters in a battle of "on the one," but the best cuts here boast a more sensuous feel for groove than the prime suspects have shown in the past. In short, Boss Hog shows that somewhere down the line Spencer and Martinez learned the importance of getting a groove on, and though that groove is rough, noisy, and ill-tempered, you can still dance to it.

Customer Reviews

Boss Hog

I've always enjoyed this record and I think it holds up well. Sexy, exciting garage rock that transcends the genre! Some of it reminds me of PJ Harvey's "Rid of Me." Check it out!


Formed: 1989 in New York City, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '90s, '10s

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, 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'...
Full Bio
Boss Hog, Boss Hog
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