Bobaflex – Charlatan’s Web CD Review By: Jeff Lowe
Bobaflex are perhaps one of the most under appreciated and hardest working rock bands in existence. In 2011 they released “Hell In My Heart”, a record that should have been almost impossible to ever match. However, “Charlatan’s Web” the bands 6th full length release, manages just that. In fact the 2 albums compliment each other perfectly as the styles and themes mesh.
Charlatan’s Web was released though their own BFX label which has given them the freedom to control all aspects of their craft. In fact the first song on the new record is Charlatan’s Web Intro (Love Letter From A Booking Agent), which samples an actual voice mail from a booking agent, unfortunately showing the dark side of the music business. That the spoken word part is played over a beautiful guitar instrumental just serves to highlight the stream of bile directed at the band.
As it is impossible to say some tracks are better than others so I chose a few songs at random to talk about; you need to check out the rest yourselves!
Bad Man has an almost Southern Rock feel with the hushed vocals simply adding to the effect, while Wading Through The Dark has a reggae inspired section which is a total surprise as it works so well in the context of the song. Pretty Little Things rocks along with a hint of the Twisted Sister song We’re Not Gonna Take It.
Have you ever wanted to say something bad about someone at their funeral? I’m Glad You’re Dead does just that as a the death of an abusive father is celebrated by the participants as they express relief and perhaps a sense of justice that he is finally gone. Not many people would take on such a taboo subject and even fewer will have you singing along to the chorus! Bobaflex do that with aplomb.
As if to act as a counterpoint to the seriousness of some of the other songs, School For Young Ladies starts with mock cheerleading, and is a tale of a perverted school principal. The main vocals are a tip of the hat to Alice Cooper. Rouge rounds off the album with a beautiful instrumental at the end of the song.
Although the songs have a common theme of love and its inherent complications, the topics are viewed from different angles leaving the listener sometimes unsure as to which are straight forward love songs and which are tales of delightful revenge. Musically Charlatan’s Web goes off in a number of rock directions which the band uses to maximum effect while not losing sight of their unique core sound. If you like brilliant vocals, rocking guitar, thunderous drums and Beatle-esque 4 part harmonies, you should take the musical journey Bobaflex will drag you along. Equal parts rock, sleaze and booze give you a cocktail you can savor over and over again.