Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Boss Tweeter-I Was the Motive EP

January 1, 2006

bosstweeterBand Name: Boss Tweeter
Album Name: I Was the MotiveEP
Best Element: Finally discovering their sound.
Genre: Fractured Indie-rock/Surf-punk
Label Name: n/a
Band E-mail:

Every time I review Boss Tweeter, they have a new member. I reviewed a set of their first demos two or three years ago when they were a duo, and then last year they sent me their Disillusioned and Aware EP as a trio. This new EP entitled I Was the Motive sees them as a quartet. And as they have grown in numbers, they have grown in talent, as I Was the Motive is lightyears ahead of where they were in their last EP.

Boss Tweeter has always had their own sound- careening liberally between surf-punk, fractured indie-rock, and jam rock, they’ve never been quite sure of themselves, but they put it out there anyway. With I Was the Motive their efforts finally coalesce into a sound. They’ve dropped almost all of the jam influence of their sound and honed in on the fractured indie-rock/surf-punk interactions. The fervent, manic spoken word/yelled vocals that showed up occasionally on Disillusioned and Aware EP show up again here, cementing themselves as a genuine part of the Boss Tweeter sound. The two best tracks are the ones where Michael Ball rants in this spoken word/yell style- opener “Fashion and the Facsimile” and closer “Untitled”. These two brilliant tracks are explosions of vitriol and candor, sounding like the aural equivalent of a Jackson Pollock painting. “Untitled” actually appears on Disillusioned and Aware as the best track- and it first perfectly here, showing just how all of their previous efforts lead up to this one.

“Hellbent” and “Path of Enlightenment” both focus more on the surf-punk side of the band, which is good, but not great. “Insomnia Jam” takes the passionate indie strains of “Fashion and the Facsimile” but puts sung vocals over it for a different take on that sound. “Failure at the Borderline” is the bridge between the indie-rock and the surf-punk- their nearly six-minute epic combines Weezer-esque surf vibes with a toned down version of the mad strumming and flailing of their earlier brilliance, making a song that is definitively Boss Tweeter.

I’ve always believed in Boss Tweeter, and they haven’t let me down yet. They’ve got a great, unique indie-rock sound going on, and they just keep getting better and better at it. Pretty soon they’ll be making waves in the indie scene- just you watch. They’ll say that they sound like the Pixies, but don’t you believe them. There is some Pixies, but this is all Boss Tweeter. Rant on, my men. Rant on.

-Stephen Carradini

Boss Tweeter

January 2, 2004

I’m at a loss to describe Boss Tweeter. It sounds somewhat like this: Classic Rock + Math Rock + Grunge + Guitar Rock + Emo + Blues + Surf Rock. Since I like all of these genres, I’m quickly falling in love with Boss Tweeter, although I can’t tell you what genre they actually play.

In this EP, they’ve matured substantially. They’ve refined their songwriting skill exponentially, improved their vocal performances, added drums to their sound, and refined their already amazing lyrics to a razor edge since their last demo came across my desk. Case in point: Not even Radiohead can get away with raving “The point of this exercise is simply to reveal the true nature of humanity like a gunshot in your peripheral vision” as BT does in “Untitled”. Boss Tweeter simply has the best lyrics in rock music today. Put all their elements together, and what results is one kickin’ album.

They’ve only written two new songs for this demo (“Mistress” and “Untitled”), with the other 5 being demo songs retooled. The two new songs are undoubtedly the best songs on this album, though. “Mistress” is the rocker that was missing from BT’s repetoire: not too fast and not too slow, just mid-tempo rock. Both the vocals and the guitars deliver a raw, passionate feel to this, which is fantastic. If “Mistress” rocked, then “Untitled” rocks harder. This is the best song BT has ever written, as it sees Ball ranting and raving a political, cryptic, prophetic poem over angular, fractured math-rock riffs. The intensity that is captured in this song is just amazing, as the guitars will pump your adrenaline, and then the vocals will haunt you.

The rest of the album plays out well, as all the old songs have been retooled to fit drums and tweaked to sound better. They’re very good, but the two new songs really are the jewels here. One highlight is the acoustic last track “Land of Forgotten Sun”, which reminds you that remorse is still alive and well in music today.

Altogether, Boss Tweeter is one of the most talented, creative, genre-bending bands since Nirvana. They are ready to rock your stereo right now. They’ll be rocking your radio soon, so get this album and have a collectors’ item when they become dangerously famous.


Mistress features guitar, bass, drums, the first song ever by boss tweeter to do so. The vocals are raw and appealing, adding a different feel to this. The harsh, attacking vocals are very interesting. Good shown on mistress. “Untitled” sees Ball ranting and raving a poem over a dual guitar attack which invokes serious post-rock vibes, certain passion invoked. ‘two decisions, equally condemnable, equally regrettable, but either a prize nonetheless’ the delivery is haunting, pained and shiver-inducing. Lyrics are emotional, political, prophetic, and altogether amazing, not resisting any irony to be provoked, no contradiction left unturned, and no metaphor or simile left unexplored. The drums give their sound much more clarity and feel than their previous work. This just feels much better. Even without bass (as in ‘untitled’) their sound is much more full. Hellbent, one of the best songs off their last album, is even better with driving drums.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of instrumental music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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