Boiled in Lead: Alloy

Yvonne Carts-Powell wrote this review.

Gut reaction: keeper.

Alloy is the “Greatest Hits” collection of Boiled in Lead,a collection of tracks mostly culled from previous albums leavened with a few previously unreleased tunes and new versions. This is quite a ride, since Boiled in Lead has evolved through styles and crew changes, from the early mostly Celtic-trad days with Jane Dauphin to thrash Balkan-and-country with whiskey-voiced Adam Stemple. The band survived the fifteen year journey with a distinct identity and a twisted sense of humor.

So reviewing Alloy is hard to separate from reviewing the band, history and all. If your heart is beating, listening to BiL is likely to make it bust: BiL’s music moves your feet and emotions.Just when they’ve got you lathered up and frothed from dancing to a manic 7/8 beat, they throw in an achingly gentle tune, so your heart merely cracks rather than crapping out fs best, if not its rudest.(“State Trooper” and “Pig Dog Daddy” didn’t make it into the collection, I’m pleased to report.)

Perennial tuneful faves, “Step it Out Mary” (Stemple version) and”Madman Mora Blues” (Menton version), are here, and the album closes– how else could it end? — with the sweet, the gentle, the lovely,the soul-satisfying “Jaime Across the Water”.

Hardcore Leadheads already have their copies of Alloy2, a short-run collector’s 2-CD set that includes this album. Alloy is a better fit for those who like Boiled in Lead, but not enough to buy every album, or as an introduction to the band. Although I have the other albums, I’m keeping this one, too.

(Omnium,1998)

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