Three words: Missile Girl Scoot.
That’s not a knock or an accusation either.
Bonkin’ Clapper pretty much occupy the same aesthetic space as Missile Girl Scoot — huge guitar riffs, choruses with hooks, a rapping front woman who also sings.
All the elements that made Missile Girl Scoot a sure-fire bet also make Bonkin’ Clapper pretty enjoyable too.
At both Austin and New York City Japan Nite performances in March 2002, Bonkin’ Clapper won audiences over, selling out copies of the band’s most recent disc, Bonkanesia.
The album’s seven tracks doesn’t quite give Bonkin’ Clapper enough space to explore the vocabulary of rock ‘n’ roll the way Missile Girl Scoot does, but that doesn’t stop them from trying.
Michael Corcoran of the Austin American-Statesman beat me to the Lucious Jackson comparrison, an influence clearly evident on “Mars Stone” and “Power to the People”.
“My Way” owes a bit to the Kinks, while the framing tracks “Intro” and “48th. Street (T.A.D.)” indulge in some Middle Eastern ambience the way Pearl Jam’s Ten did. (Someone shoot me now — I just made a reference to Pearl Jam’s Ten.)
The biggest difference that separates Bonkin’ Clapper with its musical brethen in MGS is a studio budget.
Bonkanesia sounds like it could have benefited if everything from the guitars to the rhythm section were punched up a bit more. The base energy of the band’s live show comes through on recording but not its full, head-crushing impact.
70*, however, has a tremendous vocal presence. She dominates Bonkanesia the same way Junn and U-Rie tend to get buried on their respective albums.
On “My Way” and “Warp!!”, she bellows and snarls like she owns the whole fucking planet, and damn if she doesn’t. At the same time, she can draw back when she needs to, as she does on the epic “Rookies Story”.
Even though Bonkin’ Clapper is far from being the first band to make an honest go of mixing up rap and rock, they certainly rate as one of the most fun — something seriously lacking with American bands purporting to sport the same muse.