Boss Hog – NME: Boss Hog [Review] (PRESS, UK)

30 September 1995 NME 39
Boss Hog - NME: Boss Hog [Review] (PRESS, UK)
NME review of the Boss Hog self titled album.

Photo: Martin Goodacre

BARCODE: 9 770028 636055 39

Boss Hog DGC/ALL formats
THE TRUTH is out. Cristina Martinez, all catwoman curves and guile and spikey high heels, is the female Jon Spencer. Or perhaps that should be: Jon Spencer is the male Cristina Martinez. Whatever, these New York City ruffians that comprise Boss Hog are two sides of one bad penny. How bad? We’ll head that way later. But first, let’s stake the territory here. If you wanted to kiss the foil shirt of Jon Spencer last year when his blues exploded in your mind with ‘Orange’, you’ll desire this album pretty badly as well. Do the two bands sound similar?

Well musically, about 30 per cent of the way. Thing is, Cristina’s Boss Hog, now on their third album, use wider parameters. This isn’t only a hundred degrees Fahrenheit punk rockabilly with alcohol poisoning.

Oh no. Hog vocabulary also takes in prom rock and roll (‘I Idolise You’), moodier, woozier cello landscapes (“Texas’), stiletto-bitch metal (‘Winn Coma’) and teenage delinquency (‘Ski Bunny’). But it seems Boss Hog and the Blues Explosion share an ideology: that it is the duty of white, middle class, university grad folk like themselves to catalogue sleaze thrills from the inhabitants of the freakier quarters of New York – bums. prostitutes, killers, drunks, pervs, etc. So how bad are Boss Hog? Well, this is badass chic , punky and potent, ultimately poserthon music. In the mid-’90s Cris and Jon were in the mythologised, no sales, f— you noise histrionics Pussy Galore. Out of their disintegration also came Royal Trux, Unsane, Action Swingers and Free Kitten, kitsch trainspotters one and all. So you know what to expect. Sort of… Because the Hog brief is broader than that of the Blues Explosion, the script is that little more imaginative. From the big tease, ’60s caricature love song ‘I Dig You’ (“I dig your groovy hips/I dig your barbecue lips”) complete with the couple’s coos and whoops, to the distractingly abstract (‘Punkture’ and ‘Walk In’), plus all the garage delirium and blues kerfuffles in between, their major label debut is sweet and cunning. Cris and Jon could probably give up their day jobs (production editors, posh NYC magazines), but that could spoil things. They’re already The Boss anyway. (7)
– Angela Lewis”