The luxurious sounds of Boondah
By Matt Clevenger
Funk/metal/hardcore veterans Boondah will bring their high-fashion live show to the Brewery in Troy this Saturday, Feb. 19, headlining an eclectic line-up with special guests Hellnaw and the Twitches.
“When you come to one of our shows, we don’t want it to be just one style of music,” Boondah guitarist Dave Church said during an interview last week. “We’ll try to hook it up with a couple different styles. If we’ve got control over who we’re playing with, we usually try to play with a couple different sounds.”
“You’re going to love it,” drummer Robert Kinney added. “Hellnaw is a three-piece jam band from Athens, and the Twitches is a solo act … he’s fucking crazy.”
It’s been four years since Boondah first unleashed their unique brand of heavy, groove-based funk/metal on the Dayton-area music scene, and the band is well-known for their genre-defying sound, which can even be hard for band members to label. “If you’re going to classify it, I would say we’re a party band, then you can put it in any sub-genre that you want after that,” Kinney said.
“I think Boondah is its own genre,” vocalist Mario Criner explained. “Instead of saying we sound like a combination of Clutch, P-Funk, Butthole Surfers and all this, I’d rather say we sound like something that’s not already a genre.”
Boondah started out as a six-piece in 2006 and featured a saxophone player before trimming down to a four-piece line-up sometime around 2008. Founding members Criner (vocals), Kinney (drums), Patrick Smith (bass) and Sam Ratcliff (guitar) added guitarist Dave Church in April 2010, completing the current line-up and bringing even more diverse influences to the band’s eclectic sound.
“We all listen to a wide variety of music,” Criner said, noting that current band members’ tastes range from Clutch, Sepultura and Kyuss to Modest Mouse, Cake, Green Day and Waylon Jennings. “We’ve all got way different influences too … we don’t all listen to the same thing.”
“We pretty much like everything,” Smith added. “It would be easier to mention the things we don’t like.”
Boondah’s members come from very different backgrounds and some are seasoned veterans of the music scene, while others have never been in another band. Criner has been a fixture of the local hardcore scene for years, fronting a long list of bands including Throttle, the Pliskins, Murder Town Saints, Prophets of a Downfall and the Skralings before forming Boondah. Kinney and Smith also played together in the Skralings, while Ratcliff never even owned a guitar before joining Boondah. Church is a veteran of several well-known local punk and hardcore bands, including the Hasswipes, Blunder, the Frankx and Menace II Sobriety.
Band members don’t take themselves too seriously, however, and over the years Boondah has developed a reputation for their wildly unpredictable live shows, which often feature stage props as well as various costumes and disguises. “We’re all here to have a good time,” Ratcliff said of the band’s live shows. “You’ve got to try to make it fun like a party.”
“We’re pretty much all about live performances,” Kinney added. “It’s like, ‘have a good time. Don’t worry about the fact that the country you live in is crumbling, and the money’s not worth shit, wars are breaking out everywhere and your ass is about to be toast.’ Drink some beer … and don’t think about that shit for a while.”
Boondah was the first band signed to local label Smiling Handshake Records and has already released two albums, “Felonious Bologna” and “Live @ Canal Street Tavern.” Both albums are available at the band’s live shows and “Felonious Bologna” is also available online from iTunes.
The band is currently working on an upcoming double CD release, tentatively titled “Burly Luxurious.” “We’re working on it,” Criner said of the new project. “We’re still writing songs. You don’t want to just write them and go straight into the studio … you’ve got to work them out live to get the kinks out and the groove going.”
Boondah is also busy planning several upcoming shows and will hit the road this spring and summer, trading shows with Hellnaw in Athens, OH. “We’re going to try to get out there on the road a little bit,” Smith said. “Winter time always drops off a little. We can’t compete with football.”
“We’ve got a whole album of songs that we wrote,” Church added. “So we’re going to take that new album and play it a little bit so we can hear it.”
Boondah will appear with opening acts Hellnaw and the Twitches Saturday, Feb. 19 at the Brewery, 111 W. Water Street in Troy. Admission is $3, 21 and up. Details can be found online at www.myspace.com/brewerybands. More information on Boondah and samples of songs from Felonious Bologna can be found online at www.myspace/boondahrocks or www.reverbnation.com/boondah.
Reach DCP freelance writer Matt Clevenger at email@example.com.