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More Japanese Electroni-rockers

Boom Boom Satellites
Out Loud

I have to be completely honest with you when I say that the first reason I was attracted to this group was because of their name. It's a silly reason, but for some odd notion, I was struck with how it rolled off my tongue. When I actually picked the album up, though, and saw that it was on a major label, I put it back in the pile again and opted for a CD I knew a little bit more about. Then, over the course of the next two weeks following my viewing of that CD, I read several good reviews for it, again piquing my interest. Eventually, I found the disc again cheap (the label must have put out a ton of these things promotionally, but what's a major-label to do?) and decided that I might as well see what the fuss was about.

Right off the bat I must say that fans of the Crystal Method might want to check this thing out while they're waiting on that duo to finish up their sophomore release. The Japanese duo of the Boom Boom Satellites (who have actually been together for quite some time making music) have put together an album of huge beats and funky rhythyms that falls in line with a lot of what the Crystal Method does, except in a slightly different route. Over the course of 12 songs and nearly 70 minutes, they throw tons of different styles into the mix and although there are a few mis-steps, Out Loud is a high-energy, very enjoyable affair.

The disc swirls into things very gently on the first track with "Missing Note." With some slight female vocals and an ever-building beat, the track finally reaches a nice decibel level at just after 2 and a half minutes through the track and doesn't let up from there. A grindly beat slams into place and they even throw some nice scratching down on top of it all. It's one of those tracks that has a big, thumping beat, but still has some nice, effervescent sounds over the top that works a lot like (and excuse my reference again, it will be the last one) the Methods "Keep Hope Alive." On "Batter The Jam No. 3," the track is flavored with a nice bit of flute and trumpet playing, but again has a monster beat and a wacked-out thick synth. After some experimental beats (bordering on drum and bass) and somewhat annoying vocals on "Push Eject," the album goes into the awesome track "Limbo." It wallows in a laid-back funk and a fun vocodored sample, but once again a thunderous beat slams the track along.

After a nice 1-minute drum-machine solo "Intruder," the disc goes into a great drum and bass flavored future Jazz freakout in "An Owl." The drums kick some arse and there's some very nice horn work as well. After another thankfully short electronic/rock track "Oneness," the group again gets right back into things with a couple more tracks before the album epic "On The Painted Desert." The almost 9-minute track starts out with what sounds like an accelerated sonar blip before that everpresent thumping beat kicks it in. This time, the backing on the track is provided by a beautiful string arrangement. It's lush and cinematic, and it's probably one of the neater tracks I've heard this year. Maybe I'm just a sucker for inventive uses of stringed instruments, though. Still, I'd be very surprised if someone doesn't snag this up to go on a soundtrack sometime in the near future.

Even that's not the end, though, as the duo stirs things up with two more blistering tracks to end off the disc. It's one of those rare discs that sounds as good blaring out of a loud system as it does as a backdrop when you're working around the house. The duo definitely knows how to put things together and it's found itself lodged in my CD player quite a bit since I got it. If you're into big, thick beats and don't mind buying from a major, snag this sucker up.

Rating: 7.5