Boa - Wrong Road (1969)

The roots of Boa can be found in Auburn Heights, Michigan in 1969 when high school student Ted Burris (bass, vocals, organ) enlisted fellow student Bob Maledon (piano, bass, organ, vocals), who he had seen jamming at a mutual friend's house. They met at Maledon's garage to play, where Paul Manning (guitar, vocals) heard the racket the twosome were making and had to be involved. The three continued jamming until deciding it was time to add other member. Brian Walton was recruited to play keyboards, and, after trying out numerous drummers, Richard Allen filled the drum seat. They called themselves Anvil and performed cover songs as well as a few band originals. In 1970 Anvil recorded an album at a Detroit studio that was never released, although a few acetates were made, before breaking up due to changing musical tastes. The members, however, got back together in 1971 and decided to give recording another shot. Instead of dusting off the Anvil moniker, the band chose to rename itself Boa. They recorded Wrong Road live on a two-track in a warehouse in Auburn Heights, and the album was privately pressed and released in March of 1971 with Manning taking the pseudonym Captain Hook since he was playing with another band at the time. Almost immediately after, the band broke up again and went their separate ways. (via allmusic.com)

This cool early hard rock item has every bit as much garage attitude as the best '66 LPs. An enjoyable energizer with wild stories about murder and infidelity in a raunchy basement guitar/organ setting. Crappy press and one of the least professional band photos ever on the sleeve. A minor classic within the field. A 10" acetate recorded as Anvil in 1970 has also been found.

This late garage album has a rough sound, cheesy organ, simple hooks, and lyrics about the singer murdering his girlfriend. I like the cymbal-happy drummer and the fact that the bass is way too high in the mix. I can’t say the same about over-loud backing vocals, though. Overall, this is a decent garage-bordering-on-hard-rock album where the cheap production works both for it and against it. The songs and playing are decent; the energy level is high, the singer is appealing. The closing song rocks particularly hard. The only problem is that the “oh oh” vocals in the last couple of minutes are horribly out of tune, ending things on a sour note. That issue aside, most of you will enjoy this quite a bit.

Here's some more Boa details, from ex-band member Ted Burris: "The first time we went to the recording studio (and made the acetate) was in 1970. It was Anvil's first attempt at recording. The guy that recorded us was a cerebral palsy victim and worked the controls with the back of his knuckles. The next time we got together we did it ourself in a Tupperware warehouse owned by Brian the keyboardists' dad. It was all done live, so if we made a mistake we had to start over." (via AcidArchives)


Boa - Wrong Road (Anvil sessions)


psychfan said...

Man, I can't believe there's no comments on this one, Great basement type vibe, it's good!! Thanks!!

Heavypsychman said...

Way cool Heavy psych judging by the track!

Definetely download worthy stuff!


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Heavypsychman said...

Great underrated album, that appealing to both fans of Heavy Psych and The Doors!

That way Heavy Anvil session version of the track Wrong Road is my cup of tea. Is the unreleased Anvil acetate been reissued?