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Beatsteaks - Boombox (Album Review)

Monday, 30 May 2011 Written by Jonny Rimmer
Beatsteaks - Boombox (Album Review)

In countries where pop/rock music isn’t currently of the “highest standard”, you often find that some distinctly unremarkable bands are ruling the airwaves. In their native Germany, Beatsteaks are pretty gigantic and 'Boombox', their latest record, is no exception.

ImageThe term ‘lost in translation’ is a good description of how British listeners might first receive this album, despite lead vocalist and guitarist singing in English (as well as a bit of Scat for good measure). Indeed, it also doesn’t help that the Beatsteaks core sound is eccentrically unique. 
Though marketed as a punk band, on this sixth record the Berlin quintet only have one resident punk tune of note (‘Behaviour’). What we are treated to instead, is a fun and oddball record where jagged reggae infects many of the songs, almost at random.  
The catchier, poppier songs on the record, such as ‘Under a Clear Blue Sky’ sound a little more straight forward, reminding of newer tunes from Strokes or Biffy, but there’s some rousing choruses to be found, which perhaps explains their massive appeal in their homeland.  
'Boombox' is certainly bustling with ideas. At times the accomplished guitarists’ interweaving sounding almost like improvisation (‘Let’s See’), but at other points (‘Automatic’), Beatsteaks employ the slightly generic method of articulating through ‘Find riff; reverb; repeat riff; repeat riff until sore;’.

For the most part though, regardless of the slightly irritating laughing/random baby noises that keep cropping up (don’t ask), this is an enjoyable pop/rock record that is meandering at its worst and upbeat at its best.

Album Rating: 7/10

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