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Boudreaux – Fallen Angel

Boudreaux
Fallen Angel
by Leanne Evans at 27 March 2021, 9:39 AM

After reading the bio of American hair outfit BOUDREAUX, one can only say that the band has had more ups and downs than a whore’s drawers and that their story is akin to a musical soap opera. I’m not sure I’ve read about as many different line-ups, band name changes and as many falling ins and outs with band members ever BUT – and it’s a big but – it has to be said that their release of “Fallen Angel” shows that the final line-up was the right one. Back in the day, the 80’s hair scene was absolutely killer! Its great hair and sexy good looks, raw music and pure sex ruled the scene and airwaves and had everyone hook, line and sinker. From the bombastic bad boys of MOTLEY CRUE and W.A.S.P, through to the just as down and dirty SKID ROW, WARRANT and HANOI ROCKS, the decade of huge shoulder pads, teased perms and God-awful fashion trends bore some belting hair bands that knew how to full-frontally rock it. And BOUDREAUX was no exception. After working on new material over a number of years, BOUDREAUX has gifted us with the release of their exquisite album “Fallen Angel”.

“Road to Nowhere” kicks off the album and feels wonderfully familiar and reminiscent of the L.A. scene. It’s got a WARRANT meets SKID ROW vibe about it, with Chris’ vocals pulling through with quite the SEBASTIAN BACH tone and the track presents some wonderful guitar harmonies, something showcased perfectly in next track, title piece “Fallen Angel”. Everything about this composition is atypically 80’s hair filth; the vocal harmonies, the MOTLEY CRUE cum SKID ROW-esque yawping appreciation and addiction to a bodacious babe and the wonderful guitar solo mid-way through the track. It’s like a dirty piece of heaven has fallen into your ears. “Fallen Angel” is definitely one of many highlights of BOUDREAUX’s repertoire.

Speaking of highlights, may I present “Take the Money and Run”, rammed full of melodic riffs, almost reminiscent of AEROSMITH “Love in an Elevator” and stunning guitar work, especially the well-built guitar solo in this piece that literally crescendos and produces some of the infectious squealies that the 80’s was SO expert at producing. And let’s not miss out “Why Did Our Love Go Away”, which actually dishes out a bit more of an IRON MAIDEN vibe, something that would seem to be achieved with the higher pitch and range to Chris’ vocals, a very pleasant surprise.

Taking us on twists and turns, BOUDREAUX have an uncanny knack of delivering the perfect hair formula in the likes of “Baby Don’t Leave”, which brings that upbeat vibe to the uncertainty love can bring and edges a POISON meets HANOI ROCKS sound; stereotypically 80’s hair…and unapologetically so. However, “Head First (Going Down for the First Time)” serves up some southern haziness to the album, everything is moody heavy blues styling with a dirty twist. Filthy fuzz, sexy slide work and heavy riffs aplenty, the sound penetrates you, even down to the rawer noticeably richer vocals Chris presents. BOUDREAUX have quite the edge when it comes to changing things down and switching things up, it works perfectly.

The guys don’t quite hit the spot every time, though, which is disappointing since their talented musical abilities are as obvious as being hit with a brick in the face. “One of a Kind” has too many “na, na, na, na, naaa’s” for anyone’s ears and the whole track lacks both lyrical and vocal depth. It’s a shame, as there’s a promising GnR feel to it and the guitar solo is quite the soarer. The same irritation comes from “Don’t Know About You (D.K.A.Y.)” with too many “I don’t know’s”, too much going on for one track with changes in tempo and chord structure that don’t work, yet ironically conveyed an overall feeling of being an afterthought.

I can’t hold these bum-notes against BOUDREAUX for too long because they get SO much else SO right. Towards the end of “Fallen Angel”, “Forget Love” redeems with a fistful of cock-rock brilliance pulling through an XYZ vibe, with the perfect blend of a very dirty bass line and rugged vocal delivery. The sporadic wails of guitars overlay, tight drumming drive the rhythm perfectly and there’s a brilliant groove that pours out… absolutely bloody divine! Wrapping up “Fallen Angel”, “Baby Don’t Go (Reprise)” ends on the perfect high note, pulling through a stunning stripped-back-bare acoustic with honeyed harmonious backing vocals and even silkier vocals from Chris.

It’s a shame the guys aren’t still together today, especially given the hair revival that seems to be taking off once more. However, from what I’ve heard, BOUDREAUX are clearly brothers for life and have bonded over their musical journey; “Fallen Angel” is an easy-listening record and is both a fitting tribute to the band’s friendship and a perfect way to bow out and say, “we nailed it”.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Road to Nowhere
2. Fallen Angel
3. Baby Don’t Leave
4. Without Love
5. Take the Money and Run
6. Why Did Our Love Go Away
7. Yesterday’s Gone
8. Don’t Know About You (D.K.A.Y.)
9. Head First (Going Down for the First Time)
10. One of a Kind
11. Forget Love
12. Who Peed in the Pool
13. Big Bad Bully
14. Baby Don’t Leave (Reprise)
Lineup:
Chris Boudreaux – Vocals (Lead and Backing), Keyboards, Percussion
Darwin DeVitis – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Ken Snyder – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Justin Juknelis – Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals
Ramsay Bisharah – Drums, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Metallic Blue Records
     


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Edited 18 April 2021
 

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