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On the Download



A few years ago, guitarist-vocalists Dan Maister and Mike Walker joined together with drummer Matt Blake (later Bill Hafer took over the drums stool) and formed the powerful trio called Bogue. They were Detroit through and through. Irascible and funky; heartbroken but celebratory; prickly, noisy and artfully constructed — but ultimately filled with gut punches, hooks and Diddley. In other words, it's some damn fine blues. The ladies and the dudes alike ate it up. And at the risk of heading toward the land of hyperbole — ah, fuck it, it's my damn opinion — for a shit-hot while there, Bogue was the best band on six legs in this town. Both Maister and Blake have both tragically left our company in this life. But now you can experience a taste of the vitality of Bogue, virtually speaking, as the band has its own place on MySpace, complete with six downloadable jams recorded at Ghetto with Jim Diamond as part of a session that'll have to remain titled "Rough Mixes" for now. It's all great. The rave-up jamtacular "Baby Hold On." The swinging "Congolene." And perhaps the only use of the word "succubus" in a rock lyric that actually rocks (it helps that Maister rhymes it with "like to fuck"). As one commenter put it: "This is music to rub one out to." Well said!



What's with that term "art-damaged" that some critics (myself included) are wont to throw around? Well, no more. Art can't damage you and rock 'n' roll has certainly taken worse blows to the head and bawls than "art" can deliver (Nu Metal and rap-rock, I'm looking at you). So, in the case of Marco Polio & the New Vaccines, let's go with "art-infected," eh? See what I did there? I tied in "art" and a reference to disease for a band that has "vaccines" in its name. Zing! Anyhoo, enough semantics and back to the jams at hand: Marco Polio and company make good company for other local electrophilic punky lovelies such as Deastro, Champions of Breakfast and Carjack. Judging by play count alone, "Phantom Paycheck," is the obvious hit. And it's got the goods. Muted laser beam snare cracks and sound effects, layered falsetto vocals, a steady four-banging backbeat and the same recurring bass line you'll find they use on most of their songs — the same one, in fact, from "Boys & Girls" by Blur. You know the one. This is all delivered with an antsy energy that would do the Brainiacs of the world proud.


That's all for now.

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