Don’t let the cringeworthy title fool you, Boomstick’s Bull in a Vachina Shop is a one of the most solid and replayable local rock albums so far this year.
The four-piece consists of Jacob Roberts (vocals), Mitch Allen (guitar), Alice Law (bass) and Shae McDaniel (drums, vocals), who came together after their respective bands (Backwoods Heathens, Blood Culprit and The Radio Symphonic) disbanded. Bull in a Vachina Shop is the band’s debut record and was recorded at Shed Recordings in Nashville.
Overall, Boomstick gives you some solid grooves and sweet guitar licks with a growling edge. The song titles are laughably immature, but it’s all in good fun, so don’t let them deter you. The closest thing you’ll get to comedy is the cynical sarcasm on the trend-skewering “New J’s (Satan’s Baby)” and “Ann Coulter Has a Penis.” The latter of those takes down right-wing media culture with lyrics like My head is filled with the lies sold to me / Opinion bought by Koch Industries / Fox News, it consumes me.
The band repeats similar sentiments about modern society in the album’s closer “Wyatt Herp.” It features lyrics slamming people catching Pokémon and worshipping Kardashians and ends on the sentiment What the f— is wrong with humanity?
The album’s most divisive aspect is the singing. Roberts’ vocals have an interesting growl that sounds like a toned-down version of Disturbed vocalist David Draiman. While they give the record a unique sound, they’re a bit unpolished at points and occasionally pitchy. Most notably, the track “Boston Creme Pie” has great instrumental licks all around (especially the fuzz bass part), but the vocal parts falter at points. However, that’s not a big issue if you’re into the track’s grave style of delivery.
That gripe aside, Boomstick’s freshman effort is a worthwhile entry into the area rock scene’s 2017 slate of offerings.
Boomstick’s Bull in a Vachina Shop is available on Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon and CD Baby.