Boku Frequency has finally released their debut self-titled album. It’s overflowing with rock & roll from all seven tracks, and has some heavy funk calling on the classics to pull their weight. A trio of musicians come together to create something raw, and shine a light ahead to the new sound of funkadelic rock.
The first tune, “Cosmic Slot," has a Hendrix electric blues opening met by metallic crashing of the cymbals. It also had the P-funk sound that George Clinton perfected in the mid-seventies. Thomas, lead singer and bass player, teeters in his tone while he sings, but rings in like Sly. Red-Eyed-Dread eases onto the pedal and his guitar kicks it up a notch for that trademark Fender loose sound. He holds the notes just long enough to build anticipation before unleashing them into song.
“Enter-The-Sun" is like 1970s soul meets Minneapolis guitar licks. There is something that always comes out from guitar players that cut their teeth in the cities. It emerges on all the albums that come from there but is indescribable. You just have to hear it to know, and “Enter" has that quality to it. Red-Eyed-Dread takes this instrumental to the next level and it becomes a nice piece of music.
“She’s So Fine" is funky. It almost reminded me of the guitar in “Soul Kitchen" by The Doors, but the Doors had many blues influences and “Kitchen" comes from that. Staccato guitar compliments Tony on Drums beat for beat. Midway through the song Tony breaks out into some rapping that is from an earlier era. A “Rapper’s Delight" tone to the song gives it great appeal, and he sings, “When we step on the stage we’re filled with rage – We’re like a fine wine that gets better with age." It’s an early hit for Boku and lets the band have some fun.
On “What-You-Say" Red-Eyed-Dread’s solo cuts deep making your ears exposed to the bare sound. It takes flight on smooth fingers sliding up the neck to the sky. He plays with the greats up there before coming back to Earth to play Duluth. One day you will turn your back and Boku will be gone and on MTV or BET. It’s retro, but a funk that is the band’s own. Red-Eyed-Dread is in another world and almost a lead singer in the form of a guitar. Each week they improve that formula and only get better. There are so many intermingling influences and sounds that it is hard to keep up in many of their songs. The band becomes an encyclopedia of musical knowledge, giving a spectacular condensed cliff-note in each song. Everything is there, but it’s fresh.
At the Fourth Fest Thomas got out of a cab moments before the band was scheduled to go on. They are the blues old-school rock & roll that the town has looked for. Boku is a breath of fresh air and diversity into a town needing other voices and ideas. The Red Lion has a loyal different crowd on E. Superior, and they love Boku. The place hops when they play and it’s good dancing music that was meant for entertaining.
Some bands play artistic stuff that they love and could care less about entertainment. Not Boku Frequency, their originals are about going out and having a good time. You have to move, there is no question. You look around and see that people are dancing and the energy is infectious. When Red-Eyed-Dread lights up his solos you don’t want him to stop till you’ve had a full hit. He’s up there, and he’s raw.
Boku Frequency recently opened for Tone Loc and Foghat at the Fourth Fest. They are getting more gigs weekly and are probably the fastest moving, most enthusiastically represented band in Duluth right now. Their manager has hooked them up with several national bands. Judging by the sounds of things this band is going somewhere.