Boozewa Premiere “Black Flag?” From First Contact Demo


West Chester, Pennsylvania’s Boozewa release their First Contact demo tape on Feb. 5. The play, phonetically, is on “bourgeois,” and while I have no doubt that the four cuts on the 14-minute long demo will inspire no shortage of wax poetry about things like the ‘real’ and the ‘authentic,’ the truth of the matter is I don’t have time for that shit and neither do you. You know what Boozewa are? Wholesome.

That’s right. Fucking wholesome.

The three-piece formed last year, with Mike Cummings and Jessica Baker of Backwoods Payback and Rylan Caspar (formerly also of Backwoods Payback) stuck in lockdown. It’s not hard to imagine how the band happened: stick artists in a room with some instruments and see what happens. Cummings drums, Baker plays bass, Caspar guitar, and they all add vocals at some point in the midst of “Black Flag?,” “Those Who Deny the Existence of Robots May, in Fact, Be Robots Themselves,” “Full Tank” and “No Name Maddox,” which should come across familiar enough to Backwoods Payback listeners but still sound like the band went back to ground and started over from their original lo-fi punk foundation.

boozewa first contactI suspect because that’s exactly what happened. “Black Flag?” — premiering below — is a melodic punker of thickened tone that rides its bass, drum and riff groove toward a sing-along hook that, recorded on a four-track as it was, sounds raw as all hell and likely got its name for how the central riff in its second half draws from the band in question, as if to ask, “is this from Black Flag?” Yeah, maybe.

“…Robots…” and “Full Tank” are shorter but carry the same vibe forward, somewhere between punk, heavy rock and pandemic-age whatthefuckdoIdonow-ery, and “No Name Maddox” — the longest track at a sprawling 4:14, though it finishes early and leaves behind some swirly noise to close — caps in instrumental fashion, underscoring the purpose throughout First Contact about the simple act of playing, of making something, as an expression of restlessness. Not like they could go and play shows, as they otherwise might have done. Holed up together with post-apocalyptic dystopia flourishing outside, they tracked a demo.

And that’s why I call it wholesome. Because what you’re hearing in First Contact is these three players bring there for each other, contributing to making something together. I’ll spare you the COVID-19 sincerity™ since you’ve probably seen it enough in car insurance commercials by now, but from 45,000-year-old cave paintings to these very songs, humans make art as an expression of support for one another. It’s raw — this is a demo tape and it sounds like it — but unmistakable.


Michael Rudolph Cummings on “Black Flag?”:

“To me the best songs are the ones that just ‘happen’. No memory of the time before them or how they got there, they just appear and feel like they’ve always been with you. Woke up one morning in a haze from the night before and this song was recorded on the 4 track with a note in the cassette case that read “black flag?” Much like its namesake this tune is best listened to fully cranked with the rulebook thrown out the window!”

Featuring members of Pennsylvania’s Backwoods Payback, Boozewa brings those wall-shaking, glass-clattering riffs in ways that will be no surprise to longtime BWPB fans…. And a knock in the back of the head for everyone else!

The new band is comprised of BWPB alum Jessica Baker on bass and Mike Cummings on drums and lead vocals, joined by Rylan Caspar on guitar; Baker and Caspar are handling backing vocal duties as well.

The demo was entirely recorded and mixed by the band on a 90s Tascam 4-track tape machine at the compound. It was mastered for the cassette release by Mike Bardzik at Noisy Little Critter in Downingtown, PA.

This demo, titled First Contact, will be available in cassette and digital formats on February 5th 2021.

Rylan Caspar plays guitar
Jessica Baker plays bass
Mike Cummings plays drums and sings (sometimes)

Boozewa on Instagram

Boozewa on Bandcamp

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2 Responses to “Boozewa Premiere “Black Flag?” From First Contact Demo”

  1. Jeff Carr says:

    Souds ao good, looking forward to gwtting the demo and hearing more.

  2. Jeff Carr says:

    Souds so good, looking forward to gwtting the demo and hearing more.

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