Let’s take a look at Boogie Boarder’s latest single, “Bio Hassle.”
For starters, the tune kicked everyone’s ass at Whartscape ’09. All of those MICA kids jacked up on Ponytail and Ecstatic Sunshine could just die for the slight variation in style Boogie Boarder have to offer. Imagine an equally fun, but jammier and more pop-oriented “Celebrate the Body Electric.” That’s the song, albeit less diverse and breathtaking. Let’s give ourselves a breakdown here: lo-fi stock fuzz-bass partners up with likeminded guitarwork, both busy producing divinely electromagnetic riffs around a maze of binary choruses and refrains that cascade in euphoria. Hot damn.
Odd thing is, that’s not even the best song on their debut album, Pizza Hero (the playful “Pig Pile” duo slams the likes of Ecstatic Sunshine, and I say this with love, into oblivion). Some might say that Brooklyn’s Boogie Boarder sound a bit too much like our Baltimore art-rocking friends, but as it seems to me, they dwell in a class much less exclusive than that of the art-dash-genre. Which is not to posit that these guys aren’t arty–because are they ever, but unlike their most agile competitors from our hometown, the music associated with Boogie Boarder is more about rocking out than anything else. Moving you with skillfully placed atmospherics and tempo changes isn’t really Boogie Boarder’s thing; instead, the sugar-side of indie rock suits them quite nicely.
I should point out we’re only dealing with candy here. There appears to be no grand artistic vision behind Boogie Boarder. And if there is, it’s safe to say that these creative minds haven’t quite done themselves justice with Pizza Hero.
But that’s the downfall of most bands bent on manipulating predictability. See, rather than using astonishing instrumental feats or go-nowhere discourses, Boogie Boarder work the hard edges of repetition and suspense to their advantage. So unlike Ponytail’s Ice Cream Spiritual, you don’t have to listen through Pizza Hero four or five times before you get a handle on what the record’s about. It’s clear, concise, and above all, inherently fun. Pizza Hero might not be the most artistically credible album around, but it sure as hell gets my rocks off.