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Bootcut - De Fluff CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.09 | 14 ratings

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3 stars Bootcut are a band with the strength of an ox, the subtlety of both ironic and expert music-lovers and the warmth of a young crew that sails on a good wind, with a very good musical practice and even a very good instrumental sound by their side. In line with similar young and fresh (or even younger and fresher) progressive rock bands of today, they surprise with a low interest on "searching the original" (which, many times, can't be found at all, since it ran out decades ago), a much higher one on good music that's played in an even balance of chill and strong focus and finally with albums that wrap up good qualities in both the section of prog value and rock flares. It's an accessible, over-rateable, interesting and charming mix of music, talent and easy (but fast) playing that already wins hearts for Bootcut, and shall continue to, if they'll have better years ahead.

De Fluff, released 2006, has a strong echo of being Bootcut's most polished album so far, after a Hammond vs. Drums debut which made them wanna look like interesting proggers (and I'd definitely get that one someday, at least for the curiosity of hearing what a "duel" of prog instruments can sound like), still that doesn't mean the band isn't still open to fresh and simple rock ideas, to a tonic nevertheless jammy slice of dice, plus to a high drive of rocking that makes them so natural. Bootcut stays a Hammond-percussion duo, with Rikard Sj÷blom making sure the link to Beardfish won't slip unmentioned (caution with mixing both bands though, as Bootcut is not of Beardfish's interactive art rock kind, and isn't as "skinny" as you could think, in contrast with the band that, currently, could be one of the best in the contemporary business); several artists play on a couple of tracks, bringing the mix and the punch to a healthier degree of intense music. De Fluff only has a bit weird cover - sure, the name itself couldn't "fluff" in a stranger way - (and, along this line, some track-titles indicate a fictional concept going underway; luckily the music prevents this bit muddle course).

With relatively short tracks but a tantalizing energy in each one of them, Bootcut choose the right stuff, even aback their own minimal or comfortable desires: progressive music based on fusion and keyboard sound, jams and moments of funk rock that break a pleasant expectation, pretty deep easy music relying on happy charms and cool drifts. De Fluff's Hammond "freakiness" makes me think it's a good time to quote a great symphonic expert who said playing the Hammond (equally the Mellotron) isn't easy at all; the success of the blend here makes me also believe it's even more difficult to play the Hammond greatly. A lot of the rhythmic, funny or easy to follow jam-rock in here put a backlog on Focus's music from the 70s, cause otherwise the giant classic prog bands have rarely entered a world of genuine fun(k) music and very relaxed virtuosity.

De Fluff, for what it's worth, has a smash on you, as a listener, and is a good find, overall. Pieces like Fresh Free Fruit and the even lighter Funck The Living Dead, Hang Em High, Immortal Session put a strong cut of art lush music, the pieces in between focusing on a diverse breeze of fusion, jazzy abstract tone, or on a more uninteresting, still fervently played, effort. Mutta, Soul P.D. or similar stuff contrast with very light and solely-for-amusement music. The instrumental bounce is incredible; the light prog idea can simply turn the tables in favour or against Bootcut being truly amazing. Hanging with the positive stuff, De Fluff is a success.

Why Eclectic Prog (I almost never initiate in chatting over the current genre of a band, but my mind really got stuck to the idea of putting, this time, some guiding words)? Maybe because of the relation with Beardfish, who are nothing but "Eclectic Prog" for as long as they keep their values straight, but surely more because complexity shines interestingly bright and easy, as oppose to the heavy, alternative tendencies in the prog rock of the same days and even the same directions; because Bootcut interpret, without doubt, a progressive ideal groove, with funny, powerful or subtle details alternating each other, and because, I would personally add, there's a feeling of "classic prog" being a nice great influence to Bootcut, the band doing, in return, an original as possible act, not a replica, a retro or a two-times mellower act.

Fuzz-buzzing straight ahead into the contemporary times of progressive rock, Bootcut really edge an enjoyable, crafty and palpitating music, with a close-minded technique and passion that fortunately opens a lot better into the rock 'n' roll of the music. Keeping in mind Beardfish (but not intensively), Bootcut's De Fluff is their best yet, promising to any new or old prog fan.

Last note: I did start to love De Fluff as I listened more and more to it. So do absolutely try it twice if, at a first shake, it gives you an odd impression.

Ricochet | 3/5 |


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