Boudain: Boudain EP (2012)

Bio (from boudain.bandcamp.com):
Boudain is a four piece out of Monroe, Louisiana that originally was formed in 2006. Released April 16th, 2013, Boudain EP is the first recorded appearance of the band. Some say it’s procrastination but the truth is, this stuff just gets better with age.

Musicians:
Chris Porter (Bass/Vocals), Brian Lenard (Guitar/Vocals), David Karakash (Guitar), Stephen Jester (Drums)

 

“Slaveman,” the opening track from Boudain’s BOUDAIN EP, opens with a bit of aural dissonance, then a big chunky riff that really sets the tone for the rest of the album. It’s 70’s Black Sabbath as much as 90’s Kyuss, it’s older, old, and new all rolled into one. There is a groove that Boudain brings, and it shows p just a few seconds into this first track, that is undeniably cool. This Louisiana band has the whole stoner rock vibe locked down, then they kick in – on the same track – with a more upbeat riff, that just goes to show you as the listener that this is not one dimensional, this is not a Queens of the Stone Age tribute band. Boudain is for real.

Stephen Jester having fun on the drums
Stephen Jester having fun on the drums

Musically, I really, really dig this EP. There is that groove, along with a deep rounded heaviness that Boudain brings on all of the tracks. They never go into seriously hardcore heaviness (though “Moonshinin’” gets pretty close), but they never back off too much either. It is obvious listening to BOUDAIN that these guys have experience playing together. They make tempo changes and tone changes sound so easy, they pretty much throw them out nonchalantly, as if it’s just something that every hard rock band does all the time and is to be expected. It’s not. That shit is hard to do. They especially shine on “King of the Cosmos,” “Just got Paid,” and my personal favorite on the EP, “Kalifornia.” This track showcases all of the best bits of BOUDAIN; the big heavy riffs, the tempo shifts, fun lyrics, and a great groove.

Porter and Karakash groove
Porter and Karakash groove

The biggest downside for me on BOUDAIN was the vocals. While I enjoy a lot of the lyrics, it was the screamed delivery that turned me off. For many people this is not an issue, and if you like your rock yelled at you then this will not be a bad thing, but for me personally I can only take so much yelling and screaming. There are moments on BOUDAIN where the vocal intensity is turned down from 11, but on the majority of the EP it feels like it’s going for a knockout punch all of the time. Sometimes you need to jab. I don’t have a problem with screaming, I just need to have it in moderation, and for me it works best when it is a punctuation mark to a verse, or there for emphasis, and when it is used as the major mode of communication it loses its power. Kind of like those people that swear all the time; if every other word is R-rated it just quickly becomes aural mush and has no power, but if you are taking with someone that never swears and all of a sudden they drop an F-bomb, you know that they really mean it.

Lenard behind the mic
Lenard behind the mic

Overall, I could see myself really getting into Boudain if they could relax a bit on the vocals. Musically, they remind me of the best of the stoner rock bands, with their own down south influences thrown in (what if Queens of the Stone Age listened to Lynyrd Skynyrd instead of Black Sabbath?), and that I can really enjoy. It’s just all the screaming that wears my eardrums out. For a band that has been playing together for so long, I’m glad to see they finally got something recorded, and I am anticipating what they put out in the future. I really want to love Boudain; right now I like them a lot.

 

Overall 6.5 / 10

BOUDAIN for sale: http://boudain.bandcamp.com/

BOUDAIN site: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boudain/237507373043449

Boudain: Boudain EP (2013)
Boudain: Boudain EP (2013)
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