Boggs We Are The Boggs We Are

The Boggs are to Irish roots what Uncle Tupelo was to Americana, except that the Boggs are that to Americana too. At times loud and clumsy, the music the Boggs make is anything but self-conscious. Friedman mumbles half-intelligible lyrics about characters that could have come from the same resting place that Richard Buckner found Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River occupants. Brad Conroy's drums put the fear of known and unknown deities into the hearts of listeners, and fellow players alike by the sounds of it, especially in songs such as "Brighter Days," where the entire point seems to be to see which instrument can get to the end of the song first. Using recording technology surely only preserved in the most antiquated Smithsonian studio ("Emily, O Emily" sounds like it was documented on a very inexpensive and slightly faulty mini-tape recorder), We Are The Boggs We Are has all the zeal of new musicians in a music store and a record collector at Alan Lomax's estate auction. What does all this mean? It's rudimentary and beautiful and gives rock and roll a much needed fresh kick up the arse. In the words of one Bogg anthem, "The Airborne Station," it'll leave you "milk-legged and battered." Not all that bad for a little piece of shiny plastic. (Arena Rock)