(inset from the cover of the first Boom album, Movin' Out)
'Sacrifice' from Any Day of the Night (1999)
untitled sixth track from The Death of A Star (unreleased, third album)
As a big fan of Movin' Out, a jazz-flavoured but still very rock-y album, it's a little strange to hear these two later, instrumental albums which sound, if anything, more jazz than rock. Except that there's also dub and ska (Chris Farrall of the Sorts and Hoover plays percussion on Any Day of the Night) and definite funky overtones - the review on Insound for the same album says "one might mistakenly address The Boom as a funk revivalist band. Not so. Though the brass section shows reverence to the seventies, their swerving and strutting are more Miles Davis than P-Funk, more blue than red".
The unreleased follow-up, on which Joseph P. McRedmond of the Crownhate Ruin and Hoover plays guitar, seems to steer even deeper into jazz territory, like it actually could be a Miles Davis album. Obviously the switch to the instrumental style on both albums allows Fred Erskine more time to concentrate on playing on trumpet, alongside Carlo Cennamo on all three albums with his alto sax. Other line-up changes, for this third album include the substitution of Lincoln drummer Justin Wierbonski for J. Carrier, and John Wall, previously of Kerosene 454 and co-owner of the Slowdime label, for bass player Booker T. Sessoms III.
It's that last change that seems to me to make a marked difference between the second and third albums. Whereas Movin' Out and Any Day of the Night have that excellent and stylish jangly, funky jazz bass sound, the third album shifts more to the softer dub and ska wnah-wnah (like 'wah-wah', but with more 'n') of the Sorts and Sea Tiger. The lengthy track I posted from the third LP for streaming above (apologies to people with sub-optimal internet connections) focuses on the guitars and sax in a remarkable jazz fusion opus. At half the length, the six-minute 'Sacrifice' from Any Day of the Night runs like an earlier version, with its dubby electronics and frantic horn phrasing.
Although both these albums are great, in my opinion at least The Death of a Star is probably the more accomplished jazz record, so it's a pity that it was never released, due to John Wall's departure for better things from the band and label. However, thanks to Joe McRedmond, we have at least the untitled tracks:
and for comparison (this is a reader's link):