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Bolus Watch Your Step album cover
3.42 | 19 ratings | 3 reviews | 22% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Day of Discovery (4:44)
2. Blockout (5:46)
3. Shadow Stalker (3:01)
4. Vow (7:00)
5. Going Up (0:55)
6. Faced (3:16)
7. Magistrate (6:18)
8. Never Wish Again (5:32)
9. In Conclusion... (9:26)

Total Time 45:58

Line-up / Musicians

- Nick Karch / guitars, bass, lead vocals, keyboards, sequencing
- Mat Keselman / drums, percussion, backing vocals

Releases information

Re-recorded version of the band's debut album from 2005.

Thanks to nkarch for the addition
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BOLUS Watch Your Step ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BOLUS Watch Your Step reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Watch Your Step' - Bolus (7/10)

Although it cannot necessarily be considered a follow-up to their second album 'Delayed Reaction', Bolus' 'Watch Your Step' witnesses a noted improvement of the band's craft. Not so much a new album as it is a re-release, 'Watch Your Step' was actually their first album back in 2005, now rerecorded and benefiting from the experience gained over the six years in between. It may be safely assumed then that the 2011 version is much closer to the way that Bolus would have wanted the music to sound. Treating it as a continuation of Bolus' work, this Canadian duo ventures into more technically proficient territory than they did on 'Delayed Reaction'. Although Rush is still certainly an influence, Bolus have stepped out from underneath the shadow and indifferent distinction as an emulator, and into something pretty great. Once again, the songwriting may not be quite new, but fans of Rush and melodically-inclined prog will find 'Watch Your Step' a fine piece of Canadian rock.

Use of more conventional song structures in prog has become much less taboo in recent decades, and Bolus capitalizes on this, reinforcing strong performance standards with pleasant melody and concise compositions. Although classic progressive hard rock is the driving influence between Bolus' music, there is a sense of the more modern alternative rock derivative, seeping into the way their vocal leads are formed. The single-worthy 'Shadow Stalker' would not sound out of place on a college rock station; a to-the-point song built around its instantly memorable chorus. The band does make a stab at longer-form compositions with the atmospheric 'Vow' and prog metal finale 'In Conclusion...', but Bolus focus most of their album on more rock-oriented numbers. Rush's 'Fly By Night' is a good reference point for where these guys take their songwriting.

The most impressive thing this time around is not so much the songwriting, but moreso how Bolus are able to cram so much prog into what would otherwise be decent 3-5 minute rock songs. To clarify, the duo will often break into excellent instrumental fury in between verses and choruses. Surprisingly, this almost always pays off in the music's favour, helped in no small part due to the fact that Nick Karch and Mat Keselman are both great musicians. At times, their instrumental performance can feel a little cold and mechanical, but this is offset by their vocal work, which fits the music perfectly.

It seems strange to say- considering that this music has technically been around for years before 'Delayed Reaction'- but it does feel as if Bolus have taken a proud step forward with 'Watch Your Step'. Their performance and production both pull a tighter standard here, and while I cannot find the original to compare it to, I'll place my bets and say that the 2011 version probably trumps their debut in every way they strove for. With this skill now demonstrated, all that's left is to hear if this high quality will carry over to fresh material.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
3 stars When I was listening to this album for the first time I couldn't believe that BOLUS are a duo. Okay, ehhh ... the truth is Yes and No - this exclusively seems to apply to their recent studio work. When playing on a stage they are a quartet in fact. However, only multi-instrumentalist Nick Karch and drummer Mat Keselman are named to be responsible for 'Watch Your Step', This album was recorded in 2004 by this group hailing from the Toronto region in Canada ... but they decided to make an update from their debut. It was re-recorded, and at least technically there is nothing to complain.

Day Of Discovery represents an excellent startup. Dynamic, joy of playing, trickiness, there's a lot to mention when thinking of progressive rock terms. A typical neo prog tune as a matter of fact - close to Jadis to give a clue. Nick Karch's voice is not that eclectic but unique in any case, provided with recognition value - a real trademark. Given with a Rush touch Vow is an exceptional exemplar too, alongside with In Conclusion where the lively percussion work convinces especially, a heavily kicking bass drum inclusively.

And then Magistrate makes my day. Great implementation - the intro shows a chime leading into a piano touch - wonderful! The piano lines are simple, highly effective though. Featuring twists and turns this is of a complex nature, grooves a lot, appears accessible anyhow. "I'm falling down ..." - and there's even some chance to sing along. Hell ... if this would continue on that high level.

The other five songs aren't able to move me really, tending towards standard rock they sound too harmless according to my taste. So this leaves me with ambivalent feelings a bit - 'Watch Your Step' is not consistent enough in its entirety when it comes to the compositional aspect. Apart from that - 'Magistrate' for example has climbed up into my IPhone Top Ten in the meanwhile, often heard, I like that one very much. Now this points out my conclusion - give it a try, there's definitely something to explore here.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Powerful Prog trio from Vaughan, Toronto, formed in 2003 after the meeting of Nick Karch, Mat Keselman and Richard Frankel at the local Secondary School.After several live concerts in in the greater Toronto area Bolus entered Wit's End Studios in late 2004 to work on their debut ''Watch Your Step'', eventually released in 2005.The same album was re-recorded and re-released in 2011 with new arrangements, featuring new bassist Daniel Avner in the place of Frankel.

The proposal of Bolus is fresh, modern and energetic Progressive/Art Rock, somewhere in the middle of the road between the powerful style of RUSH and TILES and the more refined approach of SPOCK'S BEARD.''Watch your step'' is full of short tracks with rather simplistic structures but always performed with an artistic mood.Typical guitar/bass/drums dynamic trio, where the music is driven by the guitars but has also a very strong rhythm section to support it.Catchy and memorable choruses, powerful guitar moves, strong riffs and expressive vocals are always in Bolus' menu.But the tracks contain also plenty of great breaks and changing climates to reveal a highly progressive nature.The very short ones though are too commercial and rather uninspired to be appreciated, stick with the longer ones to have a very nice listening experience.

RUSH, TILES and ENCHANT are the best bands regarding this powerful Prog style, but now you can add Bolus in the list.Passionate guitar-based Prog/Art Rock of decent quality, definitely recommended.

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