In the glorious months of summer, some get excited for barbeque season or even the light-colored beers that are brewed by local craft breweries. I am a bit more inclusive as I enjoy a good barbeque, a cold beer, and upbeat music adding in some atmosphere. Fortunately, Bokassa has returned with their sophomore release in Crimson Riders (MVKA) and it perfectly compliments the summer mindset. Do not get it twisted though, this album is still a collection of heavy music so your backyard party will quickly turn into a rager.
‘Vultures’ is the most “Punk” track on Crimson Riders and it is sure to get stuck in your head. One of my favorite parts of this song, especially on that first time through, is when the saxophone solo kicks in halfway through during the interlude. ‘Wrath Is Love’ is more of a blend of the old punk style mixed in with the Stoner Rock/Metal that Bokassa is known for. The guitar riff in the verse is slow and heavy but when the chorus hits, the gang vocals/chants over the lead vocals is that punk influence sneaking in as well. As for the burner on the record, ‘Blunt Force Karma’ is an absolute scorcher. If there was any inclination of why Metallica chose Bokassa to open for them on, this song is a perfect piece of evidence. Gang vocals, fast work on the fretboards and the kit, tied together with a catchy ending, and you have all the pieces for a sweet crossover track.
Having just recently stumbled upon this Norwegian power house, I was thrilled to hear a new album was already in the pipeline for release. Nine tracks at around a half hour is all these guys need to, well, kick ass, rather than drag out an album with filler tracks. Usually when you hear the term “sophomore” that nervous feeling creeps up, especially when the debut was so good. However, Crimson Riders is more than just a follow up album. It very well could be a sign of things to come for Bokassa.
8 / 10