The Boils - From the Bleachers (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Boils

From the Bleachers (2005)


I've actually come to like it when I get a new record from TKO. There's no surprises; I know just what I'm going to be hearing. And with only a few exceptions, what I'm hearing are some real solid street punk and Oi! bands, as that's what the label obviously caters to. That said, Philadelphia's the Boils fit right into that street punk description, offering 25 tracks in 45 minutes that are sure to have you shouting right along with them.

What's impressive though, is that unlike most street punk acts, the Boils go that extra mile to branch out into a little bit of reggae, and a little bit of hardcore to break up what could eventually become a monotonous sound. Not that a one-to-two-minute song is really a format that lends itself to monotony, but the possibility of becoming redundant through the course of the album is definitely one the Boils avoided.

The majority of the tracks are still of the street punk persuasion, however, and the band's snotty vocals, buzzing guitars, chunky bass lines and straight-ahead drumming resonate through your speakers song after song, all amidst the choruses of "whoa ohhhh" that frequently appear in the tracks. Take a song like "The Promise," with its driving rhythms and to the point delivery, and that's the template that much of the album follows. However, as this very song shows with a cutaway to a great guitar solo, you can never be quite sure what's hiding around the corner with these guys. The sound of the next track is never one you can anticipate; it might be straight up hardcore like "Blue Route Blues," or a slow reggae jam as displayed on "Skinhead Reggae Beach Romp;'' the band is equally comfortable no matter the premise.

The final song, "Philly Shreds" is a perfect way to cap off the record, opening with a quick but impressive guitar solo, as they move quickly into a rousing, bass propelled groove, only interrupted for another solo when the song allows for it. The ode to their hometown is a veritable call to arms; "Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, unified we're stronger than ever, we've all had to fight to keep out very scene alive / In name and blood, we've all carried on to see it, in name and blood that the spirit's never gone / Diversity's the key to why our heart still beats, and it's beating on Philadelphia" offers singer Greg Boil amidst ample time for raised fists and sing-alongs.

The Boils know what a street punk record should be, and with their newest effort they're more than willing to show the rest of you.