REVIEW: Boole - "Pheromones"

By JHR

Chain Border

PheromonesOn the documentation that accompanied this CD, it probably alleged that Boole were a set of multi-instrumentalist jazzers. Or something a lot like that - I tend to discard that sort of information so I can listen to the CDs without any preconceptions. Though there's an AI Koan which illustrates why that sort of approach is a bad idea. But what the hell - I like to live dangerously. Anyway. These people spit out riffs and mad ideas like they were being paid a fixed sum to deal with EU mad idea mountain. Or American equivalent thereof. It's really not the sort of thing you expect from an INDUSTRAIL(tm) beat combo.

For instance, Blow Up the World sounds like a crawling thing made of brass cogs that's singing some mutant James Bond theme produced by someone with an unhealthy obsession with Trevor Horn. Meanwhile, America Inline is a robust criticism of the current US Junta, bolted together from AOL and Windows 9x system sounds, among other places. Once you're finished giggling quietly at the comedy Windows 'bong' noises, it becomes clear that it's the sort of thing Chakk would have been doing, only with a less breathlessly whiteboy-funk backing. Fine stuff.

For random reasons, I am reminded of the mighty Tackhead - here is what appears to be an intensely politicized band making stompy dance music 'du jour'. (When Tackhead were extant, dance music equated to righteous and nuclear powered metal/dub/funk which took every opportunity to make damning comments on the Thatcher/Reagan regime. I note that the remarkable Major Malfunction album has recently been re-issued on CD by Cleopatra, and I firmly suggest that you give it a listen. It sits squarely in the interesting place between the Cabaret Voltaire-styled headspinning hip-hop of early Public Enemy, the righteous sonic exploration of Dub Syndicate (also recommended) and the drum-machine fired industro-metal of Psalm 69-era Ministry.) To borrow from Tackhead's bassist, Doug Wimbish - "If you can get people onto a dancefloor, you can talk to them."

Meanwhile, Boole have wandered away from the politics a little and are now producing a noise that sounds like the soundtrack to an Austrian transsexual porn film scored by Trio. So much for a hard-line political stance...

And ranting on (as I was) about the power of funk, Complicated sounds like Morris Day having a quiet one... Oh, tell a lie - they're banging on about "dropping the bomb," so it's closer to a two-man Trouble Funk. A damn fine trick if you can manage it, but they need to work on the groove some more - it's close, but it don't swing, y'all... I suppose what we have here is splendidly competent EBM/(with bloody saxaphones! Who do they think they are? Gerry Rafferty? It's good though. Fits the track perfectly.) synthpop/whatever-it's-called-this-week that's a product of it's environment. Icon of Coil, for instance, produce something vaguely similar, but they're firmly influenced by the European cheese-trance that seems to leak out of the gaps between buildings, it's so pervasive. Boole appear to live across the road from a particularly fine touring funk band made up of equal parts angry Democrats, Anarcho-Syndicalists and drug-addled space-aliens from the planet 'No more biscuits for the television, Mrs Clank-Bathtub.'

I can't say I'm too sure about the Styx cover, mind.

Contact Information:
Web: www.boole.org

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