Boulder

Reaped in Half (Acts I & II)

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While every in-the-know rocker (and a few out of the know too) were trumpeting Tenacious D as the greatest band in the world, the hard rock/metal genre clearly needed to be turned on its self-satisfied head. Boulder, four guys from the Ohio suburbs, were just the men for the job. With the release of their epic concept album Reaped in Half (Acts I & II), these exuberant metal virtuosos stepped up and delivered the musical amalgam that the world had been aching for: classic Ted Nugent hijinks (sexual and otherwise) set to the multi-guitar attack of early Iron Maiden with just a bit of Skynyrd thrown in for good measure. At a time when every stoner with a Gibson seemed obsessed with Black Sabbath, Boulder reclaimed New Wave of British Heavy Metal's fertile punk tradition as their own, which, along with a certain amount of Melvins worship, gives any loud rock band a leg up on the competition. Standout cuts from Reaped in Half (Acts I & II) are impossible to pick, as each tune is a finely polished gem, appropriately covered in beer, sweat, and other quintessentially rock fluids. But the shining "Free Bird" moment at the end of "Back for the Show" will have even the meanest metal-head crying big ol' gator tears of happiness as the harmony guitars take to their elusive flight. When Jack Black and that other guy finally make it to their incarcerated, drug-addicted, thrice-divorced, C.C. DeVille-Behind the Music phase, Boulder will be ready and waiting to usurp the crown and take their rightful position as the true kings of rock.

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