Thursday, May 7, 2009 Article: Boats! Taking sail and making waves

Boats! Taking sail and making waves
by Laura Winn

Boats! live at R5 Records on May 2, 2009, Photo by Laura Winn

Boats! are taking sail and making waves with their catchy power pop punk sound and steady time on the road. Matt Leonardo (vocals/guitar), David Hayden (bass), and Jeff Melendez (drums) play punk that has influences of everything from 70s bands like Buzzcocks to more current bands like The Briefs. Boats! keep it short, simple and snappy with most songs clocking in at around two minutes.

Boats! have toured relentlessly since their first show in August 2007. They played nearly 100 shows in 2008 alone. The band’s strong work ethic seems to be paying off this year with a 2009 SAMMIE nomination for "Outsanding Punk/Hardcore Band" and an upcoming release on No Front Teeth Records/May Cause Dizziness. The band hopes to release their 10 inch album in June.

I caught Boats! live in action at R5 Records on Saturday, May 2. Although Saturday’s lineup centered on Pansy Division singer Jon Ginoli’s book read and acoustic set, Boats! held their own following Ginoli’s performance.

As Boats! sailed through their set, the band’s popularity was plain to see as fans shouted out song requests and sang along to songs like “Motorcycle Weekend,” “Heart of Gold,” and “My Mother was Right.” (My mother was right/I shoulda stayed with you/Well now my boat has gone to sea/I wish you still want to be with me.)

As I watched the bassist dance around the stage, I was reminded of Green Day’s bassist Mike Dirnt in both sound and movement. Also similar to Green Day are Leonardo's vocals, which sometimes mimic a bad (but good for singing) British accent. Still, Boats! are no Green Day copycats. They have been influenced by the greats in power pop/pop punk and have created a sound and image that is best described in one word simple, punctuated word: Boats!

Hear Boats! Listen to their tunes on Myspace.

Follow Boats! Read about their tour adventures on their blog.

See Boats! Attend their next Sacramento show on May 15 at West Capitol Bowl.

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