This Boøwy Drastic

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AllMusic Review by Adam Greenberg

Released in tandem with This Boøwy Dramatic, This Boøwy Drastic serves as a greatest-hits compilation of sorts, 20 years past the disbanding of the legendary group and focusing specifically on the jumpier, catchier pieces from the band's repertoire. The tone is accordingly fairly upbeat, with more bits of ska and rock thrown into the mix, more guitar riffs and Bo Diddley-inspired beats. Their American and British influences are still formidable here, including the Police and Stray Cats-inspired riffs (and it's hard to imagine that Boøwy weren't listening to Devo when they wrote the opening to "Funny-Boy"). Beyond their immediate influences, though, Boøwy were onto something entirely original in their approach to music. They started with modern rock sounds of their era (primarily the '80s) and incorporated exotic elements such as ska (just as many new wave and punk bands were doing in England), but then added the sentimentality of older doo wop and pop vocalists to the mix. Their music threatened something more dire with thrashing drums and the occasional muscular guitar riff, but the lyrics reassured with simple serenades and sweet nothings in English, all cooing and harmonies. The compositions are adventurous and complex, and while they sometimes fall a little flat, the journey is nearly always thrilling. Listeners curious about some of the stronger origins of modern Japanese pop and rock would do well to give This Boøwy Drastic a spin.