While modern music continues to diversify at an astounding rate, it becomes even harder to classify the sound of a band such as Bockman. With feet planted firmly in the roots of rock music, looking deeper one finds it branching into a spiral of complex rhythms, but simple and grabbing melodies. Be it lyrically or musically, the dark and the light natures of life are explored. By unifying the progressive elements of rock, pop and jazz, Bockman provides a listening experience exclusive only to ears, which crave music.
As we should expect from any group of young musicians who are still growing as individuals and a collective unit, Bockman has evolved. Since the release of their debut album “Ladies and Gentlemen of the F.C.C.,” the band has said farewell to one of their members, graduated from their various universities, and resolved their focus on the music. What was once a shuffling of lineups and scattered commitments has become a tightly focused, highly energized unit of four housemates with a vision. A vision rooted in the constant assessment of their craft. This heightened awareness has not created a pretentious, calculated effort. Rather, it has manifested itself in a new sound, a new energy, and ultimately a new album.
Bockman’s sophomore effort entitled gorjus: fighting Bockman’s euphio is exactly that, two forces at work. Emerging from an adolescent devotion towards experimental music, these four band-mates are, as the saying goes, finding themselves. Yes, the hormones are raging and this season’s nectar has some brand-new kick. gorjus: fighting Bockman’s euphio has 11 home-brewed tracks to choose from. Recording and producing this second album in their newly constructed home studio, Bockman’s was able to devote the time and attention necessary to get it right.
Like its opening line, “Focus has been a little bit obscured,” the albums first track Patience is at once paradoxical and exact. Which is to say, there are hints of David Byrne and Modest Mouse representing what they were and what they have become. The third track, Blues Off, reminds us of what might of come from a Beck/Flaming Lips collaboration had they united their talents instead of clashing egos on Beck’s tour with the Lips as his backup band. The dissonant tones of the chorus and melody successfully parallel the duality of consciousness embodied in lines such as “At the end of the day/ I hold tight to a smile/ thinking about the good parts/ the result of my denial.”
A majority of the songs included on the new album were developed throughout the year 2003 while constantly touring the Midwest. Fortunately, Bockman is the kind of band that shows their strengths in the studio and on stage. What cannot be captured in the studio, Bockman’s delivers in their live performance mixing the essential ingredients of emotion, musicianship and creativity.
Bockman is Sean Canan on guitar, Danny Carroll on drums, Wil Reeves on bass, and Andrew Weir on keyboards. Each individual’s sound holds strains of influence from the dozens of righteous musicians they have loved and left over their twenty-something-year-old love-affair with music and the people who make it. Theirs is a sound in tribute to sound itself. Whether it be an impromptu acoustic sing-a-long or an ear-swelling harmonic crescendo, this foursome makes auditory love to each other. Without stepping on any toes or losing touch with the beat, their personal stylings seem to dance entwined, at once together and completely free. This is the unifying reality, the intangible quality that makes good musicians into a great band.