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Culture Shock

Meet Culture Shock Artist Psychedelic-Rock Band Boa

Boa is a three-man psychedelic rock band from Louisville, Kentucky. Two of the boys of Boa are brothers, drummer Gaven (who can use as little as a stick and a crushed Pabst Blue Ribbon can for percussion) and guitarist Logan Hopkins. Their brother from another mother is bassist Shane Spader. As per their Spotify description, the band was “forged deep in the dirty basements of Louisville”. This may be true in reality, but on record, they sound like they come from outer space. Deep funk grooves and soulful vocals (singing duties are split among the three members) come together to create a soothing, spaced-out atmosphere that is equal parts relaxing and danceable.

Songs like “Where Art Thou”, “Loose Lips”, and “Love Summer’s Dawn” show off their ability to craft driving, urgent rhythms without sacrificing their mellowness. “No Bad Days” slows things down, exploring an uneasy and gently melancholic area. Boa is a band that can roll with many tempos without sacrificing their musical identity.

“Invisible Man” is a good tour through the ground they can cover, opening with a sludgy, heavy dirge that shifts into a frantic garage-psych line, before switching gears again into a shot of funk-infused prog. It’s a song that is constantly dancing on shifting ground, not only instrumentally but vocally as well, switching between singers on a whim. One or two members will assume backups while another takes the lead. “Drips” is another good example of how the band can constantly change direction in a song and still keep their heads.

The guitar, bass, and drum work are not confined to a single territory. Prog rock, psychedelic rock, ‘70s funk, and occasionally folk are all played around with, sometimes all incorporated into the same track. The songs can stand on their own when done acoustically as well, the songwriting strong enough to retain its power even without the spacey guitar tone found in their studio work.

Recurring lyrical themes are nature and human behaviors, and the way both can lead a person into dangerous territories. Many of the tracks have bouncy and fun instrumental work, but there is an element found in the lyrics that suggests a darker side to the extraterrestrial exploration as if the band is isolating themselves in space in order to be free of the dangers and worries of life on earth. At the same time, there is a longing to be in and enjoy Earth, to find the magic of creeks and trees, brothers and lovers.

Also, they did a cover of the Monster Mash, which is tight.


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