boswell - Beryllium
There’s no need for a time machine when you’ve got the Austin based indie rockers of Boswell. Their album Beryllium takes you from the ‘50s to the ‘60s to the ‘70s all the way up to today with throwbacks to Janis Joplin, Aerosmith, The Beatles and Pink Floyd. Boswell consists of pianist Alex Wilhelm, guitarists Jeffery Ferrer and Cameron Coy and vocalist Melanie Heide. According to the band Beryllium is the fourth element on the Periodic Table. “It is an alkaline earth metal that occurs in nature and is found in many forms of modern technology,” which ties into their love of things that are classic and things that are modern and contemporary.
The opener “Beryllium” showcases Heide’s moaning voice floating over the guitars and adds drama to the already rather somber track. However, it sounds an awful lot like Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” “No, Miser!” picks up the tempo and the vocals switch back and forth from Heide to Vennay. Their southern roots are definitely shown here with slightly twang-y background guitars.
“Zilker Park” sounds like a calming listen as you drive along the coast of South Carolina during the summer. Then “Oh! Darling”, a cover of the Beatles’ song, takes you back down to Austin or to one of Nashville’s Honky-Tonk’s on a lonely Saturday night. Unfortunately, the tracks somehow don’t sound like they mix well together as an album. Beryllium sounds more of a greatest hits compilation album from a band that has been around for years. This isn’t saying that the songs aren’t good. The tracks are strong, specifically “Statue of Venus,” which hints at Led Zeppelin, but the album as a whole doesn’t sound cohesive. I feel as if from “Beryllium” down to “Oh! Darling,” I have taken a trip down the bands last two albums.
The fact that their Bandcamp website says that the group can perform over four hours of classic rock covers doesn’t come as much as a surprise. With a lot of the tracks sounding too much like other classic rock songs, I feel as if the band should take a step back from their covers and focus on finding a little more of their own sound.
However, one of the unique things about Boswell is their love for love itself. “Every song that we play, whether it is an original creation or our take on an old classic, comes straight from the heart,” says the band in a collective statement. “Everything we do together reflects who we are and we are passionate about our unique relationship as band mates and friends.”
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