Willie "Loco" Alexander / Willie Alexander & The Boom Boom Band

Dog Bar Yacht Club

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

When Willie "Loco" Alexander & the Boom Boom Band split after 1979's Meanwhile...Back in the States on MCA, Alexander immediately picked up the slack by having a Boston area power trio, the Neighborhoods, back him up on-stage while he began recording the first of his many releases on the European New Rose label. The original Boom Boom Band reunited 23 years later, only to go into the studio owned by the Neighborhoods' guitarist/vocalist David Minehan. The results are phenomenally great, only proving that had the rock & roll minefields not existed to stand in this juggernaut's way, Willie Alexander & the Boom Boom Band would have emerged as Boston's answer to the Rolling Stones, and then some. While there is new material here, the band doesn't shy away from recovering some of the music Alexander released after the split. "Oh Daddy Oh" from 1982's A Girl Like You album gets a driving new finish, while "Ogalala," originally issued on 1997's Persistence of Memory Orchestra CD, has a new perspective that gives Alexander the platform to go "loco," the stuff that made this group so irresistible in the first place. "Who Killed Deanna" from 1999's East Main Street Suite is one of the album's highlights -- the "Som-Som-Somerville" hook is haunting inside a true murder mystery that happened on the outskirts of Boston. That album also featured a track entitled "Ocean Condo II," which was a reworking of the original "Ocean Condo" from 1988's The Dragons Are Still Out, reprised here with Billy Loosigian's amazing guitar work as "Ocean Condo III," of course. The band also rocks out "AAWW" -- which some of the fans decipher as "All American Woman Wife" -- the flip of a 45 that was originally intensified by the band from the live Autre Chose album in 1982. It's a tasty way for the devoted to see how this material would've played out had the Boom Boom Band stayed together. Even the underground classic "Telephone Sex" from 1984's Taxi-Stand Diane EP finds itself resurrected here to good effect. Keep in mind that this group began by picking up the material Alexander was releasing on the independent Garage label in the mid-'70s, so one also gets the vibe that the group is truly going back to its roots and reinventing stuff that Willie did separately. A cover of scenester Emily XYZ's "Hey Kid" gives the band a different "new wave" feel, while Alexander and Loosigian combine to write four new tunes, including the interesting "Mystery Training," which dips into Willie's jazzier influences. The Boom Booms deliver close to 60 minutes of triumph, an album that is among their finest studio work to date, equal to the superb (and still missing in action) Craig Leon-produced demos from Dimension Studios in 1977 that landed them their deal with MCA. Dog Bar Yacht Club is no fluke; in performance Willie Alexander & the Boom Boom Band play this material flawlessly and with the fury they had when they reigned as the kings of the Boston scene.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 4:29
2
3:41
3 5:32
4 6:12
5 4:36
6 3:32
7 4:47
8 3:46
9 4:05
10 4:28
11 3:08
12 3:23
13 5:51
blue highlight denotes track pick