Boss Hog Whiteout

The new Boss Hog release proves what we all know is true, but most people don't want to admit, and that is that you can't be the coolest thing on the planet forever. Whiteout officially marks the end of the reign for über-couple Jon Spencer and Christina Martinez as the first family of wild rock and roll culture. While their last album definitely scrubbed the band a little cleaner than we had heard them before, it just seemed to strengthen their fierce, streamlined attack. This time around, the lack of dirt just results in a boring listen. On Whiteout, their first album in five years, we have the band embracing some of the same sparse, low-tech sounding electronic elements that JSBX have been messing around with of late. All these sounds do here is to give the music a small, cheap feel and suck any energy out of the few "rockers" on the album, like on the track "Chocolate." The music is so generally lame that Spencer's characteristic cries of "come on," "get down" and "goddamn" don't really help at all, and in fact sound kind of tired. What this record sounds like is a low-rent version of Garbage mixed with some PJ Harvey, particularly on "Nursery Rhyme" and "Get It While You Wait." The band rallies a little on the final track, the slightly tougher "Monkey," but it isn't enough to save the rest of this bland record. (In The Red)