The Bosshoss

Low Voltage

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More European acts care for country music than people realize, but no one plays it as catchy and sleazy as Germany's Bosshoss. Low Voltage is a collection of re-recorded best-of tracks that follows four studio albums, and its name is as tongue-in-cheek as everything the group does, offering a pile of high-energy anthems complete with every imaginable country stereotype out there, in both music and lyrics, but delivering it with punk vigor and a postmodernist sardonic twist, though these are concepts you'd never expect the bandmembers to know, judging by their redneck posturing. This isn't pure country, of course -- nowhere near it -- as Bosshoss blend fiddles and Western movie themes with rock riffs, or throw in a sax when they feel like it, and that's not to mention working with a string group and singing about taking their girls to gay bars in a deep croon worthy of the Man in Black himself (he'd surely appreciate the irony). All things considered, Low Voltage sounds less bombastic than the group's regular records -- they let the electric guitars take a back seat to acoustic ones and opt for more fleshed-out arrangements here -- but that doesn't really change the songs much because they are built around the groove, not distortion, and taking that out of Bosshoss' tunes is impossible since they are all groove. Low Voltage is a bit reminiscent of Electric Six, had they been in love with Americana, not disco-rock, and that implies a dual feeling -- for no clearly discernible reason, the whole thing feels as silly as a Teletubbies on Futurama special, but also grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. In the end, it's that addictive power of the band's music that really matters, making Low Voltage a nearly irresistible record.

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