The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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April 12, 2013

Boardwalk debut: Mankato's Boardwalk Arcade showcases 'blue skunk' sound on studio debut

(Continued)

MANKATO —

“This has been something that has just felt so innate, so natural,” Brady said, comparing Boardwalk Arcade to previous bands in which he’s played. “And it just keeps getting better.”

With 10 tracks, “Melting Pot” is an ambitious debut recorded with the help of Ocho, a Mankato music guru and man-of-many-bands himself.

On the atmospheric “Manic Oceanic Hospitality,” a surfy melody seems strangely in harmony with the introspective lyrics Bertrand first penned years ago in his mother’s basement. “Life as an Adult” is a catchy, coming-of-age pop tune that showcases Bertrand’s ability to refresh common rock themes with adroit lyricism: “It feels so bizarre/To be where we are/Is this life as an adult?”

On “I Reside,” listeners will find what may be the album’s best guitar solo — David Ostrom’s wailing, plaintive interpretation of the song’s angst-ridden content.

“I’m still blown away every time I hear that solo,” Brady said.

During an interview at The Free Press on the cusp of releasing their studio debut, band members were jovial and confident, buoyed by their burgeoning cohesion.

Effusive in their praise of each other’s abilities, band members talked anxiously about David’s arrival in the fall when all the band members will be in Mankato and able to gig more often. They’re already developing material for a follow-up album and are hoping another year or two of playing local venues will lead to more opportunities in the metro area.

“We’re hoping to establish ourselves here and then move up the musical pipeline,” Ostrom said.

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