Honkey Kong – Boots Electric

If you couldn’t tell by the influx of posts I made about it, I was beyond stoked for this album to come out. Jesse Hughes aka Boots Electric has made a lot of good rock music in the past decade with some help from Queens of the Stone Age frontman, Josh Homme in their southern rock outfit, Eagles of Death Metal. They made songs that make you want to drink whiskey and dance. I had been hearing about this album for over a year now and I trusted a lot of people with reputable taste who said they had heard the album and that it was “amazing.” Unfortunately, while it’s got a couple of hits, Boots Electric isn’t as amazing I thought it would be.

The album kicks off with “Complexity,” a clear depature from the rock n roll that Boots is known for. It’s got some animated key parts and a disco beat, mixed in with Boots going on about “always paying for the shit that’s free/it’s not easy with our complexity.” After a few listens, I can say I dig the track and that it has replay value if you like some dumb but fun dance music. The next track, “I Love You All the Thyme,” is a bit too cheesy for me. Boots will have his occasional overly cheesy moment (even in Eagles), but sadly, this is even the most embarrassing one. It’s just corny and no matter how hard I’ve tried to lighten up about this track, it still sounds lamer than sitting through an Ashton Kutcher movie. “Boots Electric Theme” almost feel into the same category, but after a couple of repeat listens, it’s grown on me.  It doesn’t have Josh Homme on it, but it’s got his wife, punk rock babe Brody Dalle dueting with Boots. Again, it’s a dumber song that “Complexity,” but take some more drugs and it’s danceable.

“Dreams Tonight” has some of that cheese too, but the synths make it more than bearable. I can imagine it would probably be better played on a guitar and give it more of a dreamy feel that he was going for, it’s still pretty decent. The pianos from “No Ffun” couldn’t save that overbearing cheese fest though. If this is Boots attempt at being sensitive, he needs to try harder.”Oh Girl” might be my favorite track on the album though. I should probably hate the cheesiness of the chorus lines “You’ve got to save me/Baby,” but for some reason, I dig it. A lot. Maybe it’s the vocal melodies but it’s catchy and probably the track I’ve replayed most on the album. The next track, “Speed Demon”,  is even better. It’s basically Boots singing about, yep, you guessed it, speed but saying that he got struck by “white lightening” and talks about fucking a girl while speeding. This is the Boots Electric I know and was hoping to see the rest of the album. It’s probably the most rock n roll track on here.

“You’ll Be Sorry” starts off with a clumsy progression, but doesn’t really pick up or get that much more interesting. “Trippy Blob” has a cool synth line at the beginning, but I feel like I’ve heard the same progression in “Dreams Tonight.” It doesn’t go anywhere too great. “Swallowed by the Night” closes the album and takes a drastic turn. It’s like Boots decided to fuck with us even more by releasing a track that sounds like a gospel/country track. I think it’s great though. It’s definitely one of the better tracks on the album and reminds me of (and makes me miss) Eagles of Death Metal.

Overall, I really expected a lot better from Boots. I was expecting an album that lived up to it’s hype. While this is nowhere near as bad as it could have been (considering the hype was just hype), it’s nowhere near as good as it should be for an album that’s taken two years to come out. Bummer. I hate to say it because I feel like I have before too many times, but it feels like Boots needs Josh Homme to keep him from crossing the undrawn line between crazy and goofy. Crazy makes for great art. Goofy is when you don’t know how to stop being crazy to make something concise or that can be held in a more serious light. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the occasional stupid shit, but when it’s too much, it’s souring. Hopefully Boots will find a better ground to stand on for the next solo or he just sticks with Eagles of Death Metal.

You can stream the whole album below from Boots’ official Soundcloud.

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