Label: Fontana North Maple
When I was in high school, most of my male friends were in a band. It was the thing to do. They played cover versions of the Offspring, Green Day, the Smashing Pumpkins and all of their favourite bands before deciding to move on to writing their own songs. When they started out, every new guitar riff and set of lyrics seemed to be the very same as those cover songs simply reshuffled and pieced together differently. One band member put it like this, “Why do all our songs sound like other songs?”
This is what stuck with me as I listened to Rockaholics from Ontario’s Bobnoxious. As well, I thought that this must be what it’s like to listen to an Andrew WK album the whole way through. The Bobnoxious musicians don’t seem to have progressed past that initial point of changing from a cover band to a feature band, and their whole emphasis is on partying. The lyrics are poorly written and poorly executed. Bobnoxious is incapable of delivering a song that isn’t chaotic and immature, despite the fact that they can actually play their instruments well. “C’est la vie” takes a riff right out of Bad Religion’s Stranger than Fiction (1994). I’m not really suggesting they did it on purpose. All this accomplished was to make me wish I was listening to the latter instead. It was a similar story with “Shoulda been nice to me.” The vocalist takes solo at the beginning and brings out a wobbly round of “I?I need a little room to breathe?and you shoulda been nice to me, but you, you made me mad.” You made me mad? This is not exactly top quality.
I’ve got to be honest. Bobnoxious has really got nothing to offer when it comes to delivery. The album starts off with “Rockaholics.” It is the sort of song that you might expect to hear as the bonus track of a good CD. It is like when Rise Against recorded “Any way you want it” on the end of Revolutions per Minute (2003). Instead of being a weird and immature tune hidden at the end of a well laid out album, this actually sets the tone for the whole disc that is disappointing the whole way through.
Whatever I think about the band and the album, Bobnoxious has a loyal following in Ontario. A quick look at their MySpace just goes to show that their style of rock and roll has been well received by local audiences. As far as the album goes, however, I was relieved when it finally ended. The tracks didn’t tie in particularly well together. The lyrical content scored them no points whatsoever. The overall sound has no real quality. The only two points for this album come from the fact that the band members do know how to play their instruments. Unfortunately, that bit of talent is wasted on bad song writing. This album scored a generous two. If you’re looking for meaningful music, then avert your eyes.
Bad Religion (1994). Stranger than fiction [sound recording]. Atlantic/Wea.
Rise Against (2003). Revolutions per minute [sound recording]. Fat Wreck Chords.