Hailing from Kentucky (a town called Glasgow), Boomstik came together in 2014 with Ken Massey on lead vocals, Wade England on guitar, Jason Thurman on drums, and Kevin Pope on bass. The album also has a few guests featured: Shane Williams on guitar, Lindsey Lawhon and Sandra Dye on vocals. They come across as a classic rock/melodic grunge hybrid with a subtle touch of funk hidden away.
Be warned, there are a number of products called Boomstik (golf club) or Boomstick (make-up), making it difficult to find information on this classy band. Their second release, Rocked and Loaded is a varied trip around the rock landscape. ‘You’re Not Alone’, for example, has wonderful funky undertones in its riff. ‘Black Sheep’ brings the great Budgie to mind. ‘I’m Free’, the first of two versions is all Sabbath riffiness to start and brings in a middle section, which uses a nice guitar motif around the vocals.
‘Broken Memories’ seems unsure about its direction: a slow grungy number, which leans a bit too much that way for me, although it does redeem itself with a lyrical guitar solo. The strongest track has to be ‘Sail’. A pointless whistle starts it off, followed a simple but heavy bass intro, but it’s when the guitar cuts in that this becomes an enjoyable out and out, mid-paced rocker. The second version of ‘I’m Free’ wraps up an enjoyable and eclectic album. Not hugely different from the first, this one is billed as Maddox Brother’s Theme but has a more illuminating guitar.
This is an album which rewards multiple listens – first listens tend to be all “this sounds like…” and that is very true of Boomstik’s Rocked and Loaded, but get past that and there is a lot to like. If they can develop and clean up the production a bit, their next album could be big.