Band – Bobaflex
Album / Label – Eloquent Demons / Thermal Entertainment LLC
Rating – 4 / 5
From their origins in Mason, West Virginia in 1998, Bobaflex has experienced a rollercoaster of highs and lows throughout their career.
They’ve endured lineup changes and having thousands of dollars of gear stolen. There have been numerous vehicle breakdowns while on the road, plus the major hardship of going through the tempestuous ordeal of their former label’s bankruptcy. These are the things that destroy lesser bands.
Almost two decades into this wild ride, the band is releasing their eighth studio album, Eloquent Demons, on August 25, 2017 with a “hometown” show at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH.
The lineup of Marty McCoy (guitar/vocals), Shaun McCoy (guitar/vocals), Dave Tipple (guitar/vocals), Tommy Johnson (drums) and Jymmy Tolland (bass) see Bobaflex at their sonically strongest in years.
With the new album, they have shown that the ordeals they’ve endured have strengthened their resolve. With a more nuanced approach to their songwriting, they have achieved a level of maturity heretofore unheard in their music.
From the expected assaults on your senses and aggressive lyrical content, to the wonderfully beautiful harmonies in the quieter moments, the ten tracks that comprise Eloquent Demons will give you a new-found appreciation for the band and their journey.
The album opens with Eloquent Demons (Intro), an allegorical speech given in a political rally-like setting that is eerily prescient of the uncertain times in which we presently live. “The age of the demon is upon them…” will send shivers running down your spine.
This transitions directly into I Am A Nightmare, having an upbeat pace that sets the tone for the album. The catchy hooks and textured harmonies they’re known for are on full-display from the first few notes of the tune. It’s a “Damn the torpedoes, full-steam ahead” rocker that gets your blood flowing and fists pumping.
Long Time Coming, the second single from the album, is full of bluesy-metal riffs that feel as though a train is barreling down the tracks at full-speed directly toward you. Carrying forward the concept of the demon reigning over humanity, “What if God don’t believe in us?” is almost surgically poignant amid the heavy rhythm.
Integrating the staccato beat of the drums with an almost growling vocal force that figuratively punches you in the face, Say What You Will carries an undercurrent of hope. The layered guitar riffs, coupled with their harmonies add a rich texture that fully fleshes out this track.
The heaviness that is the opening riff of Lights Out is juxtaposed with the almost old-school rap-like lyrical work. The track weaves its way through myriad layers of aural wonder, making you unconsciously tap your toes to the underlying beat.
With buzzsaw guitars revving in your ears, Real Sadness takes you on a journey that no one really wants to embark upon. Having that which you love taken away from you hits close to home for many. Incorporating a mellowness midway through, the song weaves its way through heartache, while still carrying the heavy vibe to the end.
Addressing the modern era fascination with self-adsorption, Off With Your Head nails it in the first sentence. “How many pics of your face, do you need to take?” The understated heaviness drives this track, allowing the vocal harmonies to shine brightly. The lyrics pierce your skin with a poignancy that easily makes this the standout track of the album.
With a howl, Moon And The Shadows ramps up the pace. The tempo changes, coupled with the harmonies, show that they are a finely tuned piece of machinery that continues to evolve.
For the penultimate track, they cover Pink Floyd’s Hey You in a way that pays homage to a band that had a profound impact on the band in their formative years. But, they also make this version their own, stamping their signature harmonic work and heavier sound on the classic track. Hands down, this is the best cover it has been this author’s privilege to hear.
Reckless concludes the sonic journey as a perfect bookend to the album, with the accountability for actions falling squarely on being reckless. Ultimately, the choice is all our own. Once again, the tempo changes from serene vocal harmonies to crunching aural goodness fill the track.
In searching for a comparison to the stunning harmonies and excellent musicianship, I kept falling back to a comparison that some may find a bit disconcerting. So be it. Not since the heyday of The Eagles have we seen a band put together a repertoire of music showing consistent growth and maturity with such wonderful harmonies.
This is a very solid album from Bobaflex, and one that I would recommend needs to be a part of your collection. Eloquent Demons will be released on August 25, 2017.
- Eloquent Demons (Intro)
- I Am A Nightmare
- Long Time Coming
- Say What You Will
- Lights Out
- Real Sadness
- Off With Your Head
- Moon And The Shadows
- Hey You (Pink Floyd cover)
Bobaflex – Long Time Coming