With a band named Boogie Patrol, I was not expecting to hear some quiet Delta rhythms, and for once in my sordid life, I was correct. Boogie Patrol is a kick ass quintet from Western Canada who has carved out a niche for themselves in the worlds of funk, blues, rock, and soul.
Their newest album, Man On Fire, is a collection of all of those genres, sometimes independently, other times combined in different ways, and every now and then all thrown together at the same time. They’ve got more energy than just about any three punk bands you can name, and when I first listened to the album, I could picture every song as if it were a live performance.
Yeah, I hope to catch these guys on the road somewhere. I better start looking into reservations for Western Canada.
Boogie Patrol consists of Rott’n Dan Shinnan on vocals and harp; Yuji Ihara on guitar; Chad Holtzman on guitar and backing vocals; Nigel Gale on bass; and Emmet VanEtten om drums, percussion, and back-up vocals. The guys all wrote the material on Man On Fire.
Players Blues kicks off the album with the horn section blazing and some of the tightest harmonies since the 1970’s soul scene. Lead singer Rott’n Dan Shinnan has got a great expressive voice and the band stays funky throughout the song. It’s an opening that makes me think that this is going to be a surprising album.
They segue into some more funk with Whole Lotta Gravy. Somehow, I don’t think they are singing about a topping for Mom’s turkey. This is a very cool song that rocks on top of the funk, so everyone should be happy. Shinnan even whips out some seriously good harp for one of the breaks. Okay, two songs in and I’m hooked. These guys are damn good…
Next up is Foolish Mind, and the tempo slows down just a smidge, but Shinnan maintains the intensity and keeps the edge in his voice. His vocals are rougher and this is much closer to a blues rock song than the previous tracks. The lyrics are good and this is a song that could get some extended airplay.
Hard To Tell You is an excellent song. The vocals are my favorite on the album and the entire band keeps the music lower and more melodic. I don’t mean that the energy is low, just the volume, and it shows the band has more than just one speed and that they handle the change beautifully. It’s a gorgeous soulful number.
Now, if you like their up-tempo work, you don’t have to wait long. Shaker Down Below follows and picks it up nicely. It’s got some funk if you want to move and groove, but if you just want to kick back, it’s cool with some clever lyrics. It’s not quite in the league with Shake Your Moneymaker, but it’s close enough for me. And it contains a well-timed ass slap as a percussive sound…
Shinnan’s harp explodes the next song, Easy To See. This is a good blues rock number that starts out in fifth gear and keeps on rolling. This is one of several songs that I’ve picked out for upcoming episodes of Time For The Blues. If you like your blues on the kicking side, this is the song for you. It’s a solid number.
Boogie Patrol follows up with a slower mellower number, Just Wanna. This has a throwback sound to some ‘70’s soul, and trust me when I say, that’s not a bad place to be. The vocals are sweet and the keyboards make the song come to life.
More funk shows up on Got One On Ya. I know this has got to be a killer track live. It’s the kind of song that is just pure high energy and I know an audience would eat it up and return that energy in kind. Rott’n Dan Shinnan is a born performer, you can hear it in just about every note and he knows when to bring the harp into the equation.
Okay, if there’s a song that is problematic, it’s Let’s Get Randy. I never come down on the side of censorship, and won’t this time, and I enjoy both double entendres and down-right dirty, but the song has one word in it that means I can’t touch it or the FCC will touch me as they kick me off the air. Other than that, it’s a fun song; raw, gritty, and has some fun lyrics. I know that’s a mixed message, but enjoy it in the privacy of your home or car, I just can’t be the one to play it for you…
Fortunately, they go out on a high note with the title track, Man On Fire. It’s a good song with some tight lyrics and some of Shinnan’s best vocals. It’s a great way to bring this exciting album to a close.
I understand that Boogie Patrol became THE band to see in their native Edmonton and they have since branched out to include much more of Western Canada. I had never encountered them prior to receiving this album but I have done a little bit of research and found several videos of the band on YouTube.
If you are interested in what I’ve said about them, check those videos out for yourself or visit their website at http://boogiepatrol.com/. As I write these notes, Man On Fire is available only through pre-order, and the release date is April 28, 2017. As with many independent releases, your best bet of landing a copy is through the band’s website, or other on-line retailers.