BoomBox blending rock, dance music with house, pyschedelia at North Tahoe concert
CRSYTAL BAY, Nev. — Bands can often be easily categorized.
Whether it’s because of their song structures, lyrical themes or simply their sound, many bands, upon the first listen, can be filed into a proverbial genre folder: Rock, Punk, Funk, Metal, Rap, or — the unfortunate melding of the latter two — Rap Metal (see: Bizkit, Limp), to name a few.
BoomBox is not one of these bands.
Backboned by an electronica soundscape, BoomBox — a duo composed of versatile producers, DJs and multi-instrumentalists Russ Randolph and Zion Godchaux, who hail from Muscle Shoals, Ala. — blends soulful rock and blues-based dance music that ripples with house, pyschedelia and funk.
“I have trouble putting what we do musically into words,” Godchaux told GratefulWeb.com. Notably, Godchaux’s parents Keith and Donna performed with the Grateful Dead in the ’70s. “It’s dance music, but it’s rock & roll. Actually it’s just funky. It’s soul music. I end up just throwing a bunch of names around and never really dialing it in.”
With all of those stylings woven into one band’s makeup, one might assume the end result is a sloppy mishmash of sounds. They’d be wrong. Remember: Randolph and Godchaux are DJs; layering sounds is in their nature.
With Godchaux wielding a guitar and providing lead vocals and Randolph manipulating sequencers, groove boxes and turntables, BoomBox bumps out downright hypnotic grooves that beckon listeners to bob their head and move to the dance floor.
One can step into the dance-centric vibe BoomBox creates Friday when the electronic duo sets up shop at North Lake Tahoe for a set inside the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room.
Take heed: At show’s end, you may look like you’re fresh from a summer plunge in Lake Tahoe.
“I can’t emphasize the sweat enough,” Randolph said to the Kalamazoo Gazette regarding the band’s live shows. “Everyone is drenched, drenched out. It’s a funky, sweaty dance party. I personally prefer to play to people who came to get down,” he later said. “Or who at least achieve some level that they can connect with a band for a time.”
In that vein, BoomBox lets the crowd determine the direction of their live shows. In fact, every show since their inception, the duo has been sans a set list.
“On a really good night, it’s like people are almost telling us what to play,” Randolph said to the Kalamazoo Gazette. “It’s not that difficult to read a crowd. You know real quick if something is working or not. You can see energy exchange and if people are paying attention or not.”
BoomBox is on the cusp of dropping a new EP titled “Bits & Pieces,” which will be released on Jan. 15. The group’s latest full-length, “Filling In The Color,” came out in 2014.
Read more about BoomBox at thisisboombox.com.