Review: “BodyRockers” by BodyRockers (CD, 2005)

Today’s Pop Rescue from a fate uncertain is the 2005 debut eponymous album BodyRockers by British-Australian electronic duo BodyRockers. Will you Like The Way this album sounds, or does it belong in a Body bag? Read on…

BodyRockers - BodyRockers (2005) album
BodyRockers – BodyRockers (2005) album

The album opens with Handel On Your Face, complete with strings playing a piece from it’s namesake Georg Frederic Händel‘s Suite No. 4 in D Minor, this is woven throughout, but a catchy bass, distorted vocals, growling guitars, gurgling synths and dance beats make this a really catchy track. It reminds me a little of their contemporaries Goldfrapp, but Dylan Burns’ vocals ensure it’s got its style.

Next up is the lead single I Like The Way, which gave them a one-hit wonder status hit, reaching #3 in the UK singles chart. Sultry vocals from Dylan build up perfectly as the beats and guitars growl closer before the chorus erupts spectacularly. The guitars and the chorus really pump some energy here, taking their cue from the slow build up during the first verse. It’s a catchy masterpiece.

We’re into full rock now for I Wanna Live, sounding very much like they’re singing with a full rock band loaded with chugging guitars, and roaring vocals to match. There’s occasional dance beats thrown in alongside synths, but they’re in the minority.

You Got Me Singing follows this, and it has a wonderful bass that helps it race through, carrying the vocals and bass with ease. The result, is a song that seems to effortlessly cruise along, and the use of the ‘doo doo’ lines, helps to make it feel catchy.

That’s followed by second and final single Round And Round, which despite release in the UK, it failed to chart, but found some success in Australia instead. The track has some similarities to I Like The Way, in that you might about be able to sing it over the top – with the roaring guitar line sounding the same in the chorus.

Next is Dirty, and this is quite a fun little track. The guitar riffs are playful, and that’s perfectly pitched alongside the lyrics. The guitars roar again here, and the drums and bass chase it wonderfully, resulting in a catchy dance track.

For One Night Only follows that, opening with some simple guitars before a synth gurgles and beeps and a beat drops in. This song has swagger, and is much more laid back than the earlier songs. A Mike Keat takes the mic here, playing a cheesy compare role, introducing ‘the bodyrockerrrrrrs’, who we’re led to believe are the band playing, as there’s no other lyrics here. It’s nice enough as a genre shift.

That’s followed by Keep Your Boots On, which vocally sounds like the BodyRockers have been paid a visit (initially) by Lenny Kravitz as a stadium rock beat opens the song, this then switches up to a much faster pace, with growling guitars, with the ‘keep your boots on‘ line delivered 99% as the ‘get your rocks off’ line from the Primal Scream track of the same name. The vocals become a little bit novelty, which depreciates a bit from the music.

New York City Girl follows this, opening with what sounds like a backstage improv before switching into a bass, guitar track over a simple beat and basic synth line. The track doesn’t really go anywhere, although the repeated title lyrics, handclaps, and bass synth line makes it catchy. The build up in the final third of the song is a bit of a disappointment.

Penultimate track Dignity begins with slightly sinister and downbeat muted guitars. They’re met with Dylan’s vocals before a wall of growling distorted guitars and beats thud into your ears. This alternates between verse and chorus – it’s a simple formula, that’s worked elsewhere on this album, but it results in an ok track.

Piano leads us into final song Stuck In A Rut, as a gentle beat shuffles in alongside it. At this point, I had to check that the album had skipped to another artist… but then Dylan’s vocals drop in and here he is softer and the song lets his voice shine in a different way. Trumpet and synths join in alongside some really nice contrasting female backing vocals, and the result is a really nice song, and a really nice album closer. The odd thing is that it doesn’t feel like it belongs with any of the other songs here.

BodyRockers’ lead single ‘I Like The Way’ (2005).

Verdict

Over all, this album is a bit of a meandering collection of rock songs with occasional synths.

The album was musically heavier than I’d expected, with the emphasis on the Rockers part of their band name and album title. This does lend energy to the album with the growling, racing, roaring guitars, and this works perfectly against the harder beats.

Hit single I Like The Way is rightly a high point, but so are Round & Round, Dirty, Handel On Your Face, and the completely polar Stuck In A Rut. These all show off the catchiness, energy, or just great vocals. Where this album does fall is in New York City Girl, I Wanna Live, and Keep Your Boots On.

At times the tracks sound very similar, as if ideas were a little thin on the ground, but when you can hear vocalist Dylan going for it, it’s definitely worth it. The switch in sounds makes for a slightly disjointed album, but one that certainly roars with energy.

Rated 3 stars! It's a nice album.
  • POP RESCUE 2022 RATING: 3 / 5
  • 2005 UK ALBUM CHART PEAK: #84
  • POP RESCUE COST: 99p from a British Heart Foundation store.

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