The Bosshoss Rodeo Radio

A motley crew of seven German country rockers from "Berlin, Mississippi,” the Bosshoss divide their considerable energies between generally upbeat rockabilly originals and jokily incongruous covers on the loosely conceptual Rodeo Radio, their second full-length. Whether the cover songs, whose numbers include De La Soul’s "Ring Ring Ring,” the Cardigans’ "My Favourite Game” and Diana Ross’s "Upside Down,” are honest interpretations of band favourites or evidence of straight-faced Teutonic humour is, frankly, up for grabs (though the names of band members Russ T. Nail and Hank Doodle may well be an indication). The band’s originals are largely of the energetic stomper variety, highlighted by the title track’s hard-drinking, cop-mooning mission statement, though slower entries in the catalogue stray perilously close to Kid Rock territory. The sheer number of cover songs, however, though mildly amusing, frequently serve only to detract from the band’s own material. If it is a joke, one wonders as to the point. If not, the attention garnered by being known as "the German country band that do all the wacky covers” can surely only last so long. Which reminds me, what are Dread Zeppelin up to these days? (Fontana North)