Boogie Beasts – Neon Skies & Different Highs | Album Review

Boogie Beasts – Neon Skies & Different Highs

Naked Records CD NP086

14 songs & 4 interludes – 49 minutes

Based out of Belgium, where they’ve been delivering their own brand of hard-driving, alternative blues rock since 2011, the Boogie Beasts are a four-man unit that infuses their sound with gospel, soul, psychedelia and a taste of hip-hop. And they deliver all that and more on this all-original album, the fifth in their catalog.

Produced by Koenraad Foesters at Studio Jupiter in Tongeren, it’s a passionate, raw, groove- and emotion-infused set that features Jan Jaspers and Patrick Louis on guitars and vocals with Fabian Bennardo on harmonica and multi-instrumentalist Gert Servaes, who’s a triple threat on percussion, sax and Rhodes piano.

“Save Me” steams out of the gate atop a driving guitar and harp hook as Jaspers wonders who’ll be willing hold him and listen to his story while rescuing him from a life of sin. A powerful chorus and a brief, but deep solo from Bennardo drive his message home. The rapid-fire, percussive “Give Me a Sign” changes the mood from the opening drumbeat as Jan begs his lady to tell him whether she’s his or if she’s going to split. He doesn’t want to waste his time, and he realizes she’s a good-time girl with a track record of relationships that are hit-and-split. The band mirrors his urgency in every note they play.

The beat continues in the stop-time pleaser, “Devil’s Cup,” which describes a night of drinking in which the singer tries – unsuccessfully – to drown his unspoken pain. The guitars sting to open “Cold Ways,” another interesting complaint that wonders why a woman enchanted the singer only to reveal her icy character. A 24-second interlude precedes “Love Chase,” a catchy, upbeat number that celebrates being in the right time and right place to have scored the perfect lady. It flows into the beat-heavy “Sunday Morning Soul,” which celebrates everything she brings to the table.

Another brief interlude sets up the harp-driven “Some People,” which gives a green light to whatever your choice might be if you want to get high before a solitary vocal intro kicks off “Down the Line,” which assures a companion that, despite what happens, everything’s going to come out all right. The mood changes again thanks to another musical break before a complaint about “Sly Baby,” a lady who’s always trying to do her own thing while simply trying to work the singer into her plans.

It’s time for celebration again because “Baby’s Coming Home” before the final interlude introduces the final set: the fiery “Midnight Man,” the keyboard-driven rocker “Noon,” the love song “Fool for You” and the tragic “Broken Glass,” which describes a troubled relationship through the description of kisses that feel like the title.

You’ll thank me if you pick up this album. The Boogie Beasts deliver on all counts. Like me, you’ll quickly become addicted to their message and fluid beat. It’s a hard-to-categorize album….but squarely in my comfort zone!


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