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Boss - 1984 Step On It



ARTIST: Boss
ALBUM: Step On It
LABEL: RCA
SERIAL: NFL-1-8044
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 2005, Retrospect Records, RR-103

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Craig Csongrady - vocals * Kevin Pratt - guitars * Pete Sutcliffe - guitars * Scott Ginn - bass * Joe Tatts - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Kick Ass (Rock 'n' Roll) * 02 That Woman * 03 Dancin' Queen * 04 Strange Games * 05 Hard 'n' Fast * 06 Escapee * 07 Take It Or Leave It * 08 Free Wheelin' * 09 Cry Cry * 10 Shake It


Background
Upon first listen most observers would probably be convinced this is another failed 80's US melodic hard rock act, but Boss were actually Australian and managed to hide it remarkably well, much like Heaven did with their 'Where Angels Fear To Tread' album in 1983. Boss' problem inevitably was struggling to gain an identity outside of Australia despite the positive reviews of their lone album. Musically it's very much in the mould of fellow rabble rousers Icon, Krokus and especially Def Leppard, whom of course the band would later pay homage to as BB Steal when Boss split. What's interesting are the accusations a drum machine was used during recording, it sounds quite obvious, very mechanical and robotic in my opinion. It doesn't overshadow this tight set of well constructed rock anthems that must surely rate as one of the best of its sort from Australia.


The Songs
What more can you say about a song titled Kick Ass (Rock 'N' Roll)? Indeed it is just that, as Boss manage to emulate with ease Leppard's 'High And Dry' sound, especially in the riff area, with some impressive buildup to a knockout chorus that Keel would have liked to claim for themselves also. 'That Woman' sees Csongrady bellowing ala Marc Storace of Krokus and thankfully 'Dancing Queen' isn't an ABBA cover, instead massively layered AOR. 'Strange Games' takes aim at the Ratt market with success, to the point this could have been taken from 'Out Of The Cellar'. 'Hard 'N' Fast' is the best example of an Americanised anthem, the hook going straight for radio and matching Quiet Riot anyday, but still primarily in the Krokus vein due to the vocal similarity. The drums sound especially fake here. It's back to more Leppard for 'Escapee', the faster pace a nice change up and biker anthem 'Freewheelin' is a track Saxon might have wanted to write. 'Shake It' is as predictable as rock gets, even for 1984, but when done right it easily pleases, as the riffs can't be faulted and the energy levels soar. Shame about that drum sound, I wish I'd never read that..... 'me too.. Ed.


In Summary
Fans of Krokus and Def Leppard would fall in love with this instantly. Csongrady must have spent days and nights studying Storace's vocals from 1980-83. Somehow Boss never made it even with public and critical support. When the band split Csongrady, Pratt and Peter Heckenberg formed BB Steal, who's 1991 album was produced by Phil Collen and if you've heard it is simply Leppard in disguise, Steal practically identical, almost laughably. Csongrady supposedly put Steal back together recently, let's hope they forge a sound of their own this time. If not Boss should be a starting point, a truly memorable one off.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on January 02 2007 21:53:52
Recalling the early daze of Boss, I remember them supporting Def Leppard as far back as 1983, when Lep came 'down under' to tour in support of 'High And Dry'. I don't think 'Pyromania' was released then. So yes, Boss, BB Steal and Lep are joined at the elbow!
#2 | gdazegod on July 10 2015 14:42:41
Boss - 1984 Dancin' Queen
[movie=youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zV9BV3X-gPM[/movie]

No, not the ABBA version.. lol!
Turn the volume up!
#3 | gdazegod on July 10 2015 14:46:09
Boss - 1984 Dancin Queen
[movie=youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNqCgaBjCU4[/movie]

Better quality audio!
#4 | super80boy on January 22 2016 23:44:02
Boss definitely sports that unmistakable British sound coupled with a battering rhythm section. 'Strange Games' is a standout with that very catchy chorus, while the lead off 'Kick Ass (Rock N' Roll)' plugs away in anthemic fashion. The check-the-box ballad entry 'Cry Cry' is no slouch. Finding this still sealed at a local record store for a few bucks was a no brainer and worthy investment if anyone so chooses to acquire a copy of this melodic hard rock one off.
 
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