Friday, February 26, 2010

Mike Bochoff - Horror Culture

Think about every guy you've ever seen strumming the chords to High and Dry and singing the falsettos with eye closed tight in some dorm room hoping to pick up a naive freshman looking for a sensitive artist. Now, think about every former pop punker that heard Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio (or maybe that Saves the Day acoustic EP) close off records with an emotional, fast strummed acoustic ditty and tried to put together some lightning fast power chord riffs. We won't even get into the dramatic increase Jack Johnson has had on song writers.

The sheer volume of horrible acoustic songs dying to get put on display at open mic nights and house parties is overwhelming. Bottom line, buying an acoustic guitar is kind of like being able to vote; just because you have the power to exercise your voice, doesn't mean you should.

The nice thing is, for artists writing quality tracks, that volume of blah is exactly what helps them stand out. On the surface, Mike Bochoff might be using the same chords and is influenced by the same people as tons of other singers, but his new record - Horror Culture - just sticks. You start to hum the melodies and sing along on the choruses. You start letting the record repeat. Like any young song writer, the record is a bit top heavy and a bit too long but Bochoff certainly pens some songs that creep into your brain with little to no effort.

More importantly, instead of the same strums and power chords, Bochoff's experiments with sounds, instruments and textures (the Volcanoless in Canada-ish rocker The Dropout, like the more worldly sound on and the subtle female harmonies on the celtic folkish Broken Heart of Gold) helping cement that his potential is probably the most exciting aspect of this record. He's still trying to find his preferred voice; is he a working class, Irish hero, a fractured uptempo punker, a more fleshed out mature story teller? Only time will tell, but already Bochoff is a story teller above using default cliches to describe the everyday and one that keeps you listening. When its comes to a dude on an acoustic, that's the most important thing.

Plus, the video for Everything Burns is delightful. Playful marionettes and models completely contrast the song about an abusing husband and a woman fighting back and like many of Mike's songs, you find yourself just listening/watching intently.

MP3:: Mike Bochoff - Everything Burns

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Posted at 7:22 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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