Wednesday, April 17, 2013

In Review: Well Worn Boot

Well Worn Boot


K.E.Nowinsky Reviews Well Worn Boot

Comic Fully Torqued and Five Music Tracks

April 17, 2013

“Though Well Worn Boot’s music can be described as folk rock n’ roll the band is full of surprises. Part musical production and comedic performance their live show quite the adventure.” Radar, D. (StarNewsDaily.com, 2011)

I always enjoy receiving review requests, it challenges me to read or in this case – listen – to someone else’s creation and request my opinion; it is truly an honor for me.  The gentlemen that contacted me, a member of the band, also supplied me with their comic book and their groups CD. Although the CD arrived damaged, this member provided me with five tracks to listen to. The following is my personal opinion, I am not a professional critic and if you disagree with what I say; then we’ll agree to disagree.

Meet the Group

Clockwise from left to right: Baby Buckingham,  Horse,  Swampass, and Plainsman

“The band consists of Plainsman the Flute of Boot, his trusty steed Horse on guitar, the infamous Baby Buckingham on Bass and Swampass on percussion.” Radar, D. (StarNewsDaily.com, 2011)
The creepy alarm goes off when I look at Baby Buckingham's mask, it makes me wonder what is behind the mask though. Still, creeps me out, then again I have a fear of clowns. Even with Billy the Klub who wears a sack over his head and has what looks like a Scarecrow's face drawn onto it. Even though it is creepy, it does provide curiosity to draw potential fans in. I was raised within farm lands, so I can appreciate the country attire of the Plainsman. While I don't understand the costume of Horse, I guess it goes with the Wild West theme (where I am confused as to the involvement within the Wild West theme of Baby and Billy) and is further explored within their comic.
Baby Buckingham and Swampass both got their names from their mothers and the horse could only neigh his name. But, their front man Plainsman’s title was earned. He never knew his parents so his name was bestowed upon him by the people who raised him.” Radar, D. (StarNewsDaily.com, 2011).
“Well Worn Boot is a four-piece, performative rock and roll act from Fredonia [NY]. They are fronted by a flute-playing cowboy and backed by other “Wild West” figures that look like walking, talking American Folklore. Their live show has featured a variety of different secondary characters, elaborate masks and costumes, puppeteering, animatronics, and generally “over-the-top” theatrics. Well Worn Boot has been described as “John Wayne meets GWAR,” however they prefer to liken their show to “a guy with no hands putting on a fireworks display.” The Observer (2013)

The Music

The Generals Head: I liked this track and have saved it to add to my collections. I like the composition of the music and the vocals. It feels fresh and not a cookie cutter production that we all have been programmed to ‘like’. I also appreciate the incorporation of the (what I believe is the) flute.
Big Time Rock: These tracks really remind me of the Seattle Scene in the 90’s. I also liked this song, the musical composition was very well done. I like how each song has its own identity, some groups all the songs sound alike.  Well Worn Boot is a unique gem. If you haven’t checked them out yet, I would suggest listening to this track along with the previous.
Jack the Ripper: The vocals in this track I think could have been more refined. However, Well Worn Boot is an unique group and I wouldn’t change them one bit. I have always been curious about the case of Jack the Ripper. However, this song is not something that I would care to listen to or add to my collection. Doesn’t mean I do not think that the music rocks, it is just not my particular favorite.
Billy Klub: Again, this is a song that incorporated the flute (or some equivalent musical instrument). This song does have strong language in it. I like this song and it reminds me of a song you can bang-out to watching them in concert. This is another song that might not be my favorite, but I don’t dislike it either. I like all the music compositions; it is just some of the vocals or lyrics that I do not care for. If you do not mind some strong language then you might enjoy listening to this song. It reminded me a little of Tenacious D and Beastie Boys.
Big Bad Dick: Contains strong language. Again, I think that the musical composition works well. The lyrics seem juvenile to me. But, I think this is a song that is targeted for young adult males, in the sense of the contents of the lyrics. I really do enjoy the music, I did not care for the lyrics, but I think that the vocals work well with the song. 
Cover Art:
Jorge Luis Mendez

The Comic

I have to be honest and tell you that I am an amateur when it comes to indie comics.  While I liked the cover
art, the inside art was not up to par. As an artist myself, looking at the sketching’s on each page, I could see how this artist could increase their ability to convey a better visual display for the comics.  Unfortunately, just like grammatical errors in a book can discourage you from reading it, the art was not attracting me to read the comic. Whenever I have looked through a comic in the past, I thoroughly enjoy the art within the comic.
While I can respect the creative story within the comic Fully Torgued by Well Worn Boot, I would not suggest this comic for younger viewers (contains strong  
language). I like how it chronicles the adventures of the group, it is short but
Pencil/Inks:
Jen Hynes
sweet. I particularly liked the ending. While I don’t particularly read independent (inde) comics, I wouldn’t mind following this story to see the group’s next adventure.  It is obvious that there are immature contributors; men mounting other grown men had crude suggestive content. But, if your mind is not in the gutter constantly like mine, then you might not pick-up on the suggestive material like I did. While I didn’t like the beginning of the comic and the art, I did like the comedic properties. It groups The Plainsman and Horse (justice) against Billy the Klubb and Baby Buckingham (outlaws).  While reading their comic there were a couple parts where I just mentally told myself - “boys will be boys” - Growing up I was subjected to four male cousins that conditioned me for the mentality of the male persuasion.  So I can tolerate the immature suggestives; I don’t think that everyone would enjoy this comic. I think devoted fans would definitely jump on the Well Worn Boot Comic Craze.
The ending of the comic, the group was forced to perform for an arena of monstrous characters demanding their participation.  I thought this could be suggestive to how groups seem to be forced by their producers to ‘perform’ in a way. Much like how past bands such as Soundgarden and Pearl Jam were forced into mainstream society and were not happy that they lost that spark that originally makes them legendary. I really hope that Well Worn Boot does not go down that path and that they keep their creativity and uniqueness; rock-on Well Worn Boot, rock-on. Until next time or the next… dream ~ K.E.Nowinsky

Follow Well Worn Boot – Links


Reference:
*        Rader, D. (2011, September). Artist Profile: Well Worn Boot. StarNewsDaily.com
*      Well Worn Boot. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.wellwornboot.com/index.html