Rating: NNNNNCleveland colossus Boulder's crushing thud has destroyed the El Mocambo's PA on two separate occasions, and they're returning to.
Cleveland colossus Boulder’s crushing thud has destroyed the El Mocambo’s PA on two separate occasions, and they’re returning to finish the job. NBoulder don’t go out of their way to maliciously wreak havoc. However, having grown up in suburban Aurora, Ohio, on a strict metal diet consisting of Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and the Mentors, their need to be “one louder” is entirely understandable. If you play metal, heavy is the only way to go.
Just look at the Hipnosis-inspired sleeve of Boulder’s punishing debut album from last year, The Rage Of It All, which slyly cops images from Deep Purple’s Burn, UFO’s Obsession as well as Priest’s Hellbent For Leather, and you’ll get a good idea of where these rippers are coming from.
“I still don’t know what happened the last time we played Toronto,” insists singer/bassist Jamie Walters before his shift at the Imperial Wok, where he’s worked for the past 12 years.
“We plugged in and the system just blew. It was just our regular set-up of two 100-watt amps apiece for our guitarists Mark Gibbs and ‘the Chan’ (Terance Hanchin) and myself, which is usually fine for most clubs.”
Walters admits all that power isn’t really necessary for a venue the size of the El Mocambo.
“It’s kinda ridiculous even,” he says, “but it makes for a better spectacle.”
Boulder’s latest pummel-fest, Ravage And Savage — just released by stoner-rock powerhouse Tee Pee Records — continues to crunch with the garage-band rawness of The Rage Of It All, which has been included as bonus tracks. According to Walters, there’s no elaborate studio trickery behind the group’s brutal blast, but having former Grand Funk Railroad engineer Paul Hamann behind the board was a definite asset.
“We just went into Suma Studios, which is run by Paul, who besides Grand Funk also did the first three Blood Rock albums and the James Gang’s early stuff, and we knocked everything out in one day.
“On the second day we cut the vocals and did some guitar overdubs, then mixed it on the third. So three short days and we were done. I’m not sure what the bill was, but it couldn’t have been more than a grand. We did our first album the same way and that cost, like, five, maybe six hundred tops.
“A lot of metal fans don’t like the way our records sound — they say they’re too rough or whatever, but that’s the way rock and roll is supposed to sound. You know, like Little Richard and stuff.”
In a similar way, Boulder like to keep things real onstage –no fancy laser effects for these dudes. They prefer to stick with the basics of fire and blood, although they have been know to haul out a chainsaw or set off the odd explosive charge to keep audiences on their toes.
“When an H-100 charge goes off, which is roughly a quarter-stick of dynamite, from a distance it sounds like a gunshot, so the police will come down to check it out.
“We also sometimes light fireworks, and I guess if someone sees smoke coming out of a club they think the place is burning down and the fire department gets called. So there have been a couple of times where the plug has been pulled and we’ve been told to go home, but no one’s ever been seriously injured.
“We haven’t decided what we’re going to do for the Halloween show in Toronto, but we’ve got a few ideas.
“I just hope nothing blows up this time.”
BOULDER, performing as part of the Sinisters’ Halloween Party, with the SINISTERS, HACKSAW and RIOTSTAR, at the El Mocambo (464 Spadina), Saturday (October 28). $7. 968-2001.