The best band at the 3rd Annual Metal Queen Management, Metal Mayhem show was a band that’s been around in many different forms since the beginning of 80’s heavy metal. Not the band you might think, the headliner, Exciter, was impressive to say the least. Even my personal favourite Toronto metal band, Sin Dealer, had to relinquish the crown to the mighty Bobnoxious… for a night anyway. Thing is, it’s not like they gave it up to some nobody out of the blue.
Bob J. Reid has made the stage his home away from home for most of his adult life. Ever since the early 80’s days of Razor to his Samhain, SamFuckingHain, SFH phase and now Bobnoxious, this guy has represented London, Ontario’s metal community and provided the soundtrack to the party for almost 3 decades with absolutely no signs of giving it up any time soon. Better yet, his music has stayed tight, fresh and easily diggable by anyone with a metal heart and a sense of humour. There’s a respect for Bob, what he’s done and what he’s doing, that keeps his following strong enough to give him the green light to keep moving forward doing whatever the fuck he wants to do.
Last time I saw him was back around ’92 playing the shittiest dives in London, like the Call The Office, the Electric Banana or the Embassy, in support of SFH’s “One Of Those Days” release. I remember that tape churning away on many a London tape deck and I can honestly say, the biggest difference between Bob’s style then and now would have to be his hair. Or lack thereof. Seriously. Bob used to have a huge head of scraggly fuckin mess hangin down to his guitar strings. Total contrast to the guy who shaves his head right down to the wood, except for the mass side burns and the landing strip on his chin. Hey, the guy’s still in good shape, looks great and his voice not only kicks ass but is instantly recognizable in a world of copycat fuckers riding the coat tails of the latest sellout singer. Seriously, the style between SFH and Bobnoxious is so close to the same, they didn’t even need to change the name but Bobnoxious is just irresistibly unique and really spells out what Bob and the people he surrounds himself with are all about. Fun, tough, hard edged, tongue in cheek and according to the neighbors in the tune “Hush” from the latest album “Super Scar”, fucking obnoxious. Speaking of the new album, it’s awesome. An instant classic. Tunes like “13 Roaring Engines”, “On A Front”, “Let’s Go” and “Stick It All” are perfect examples of lyrics and music that us headbangers, partiers and hell raisers can all relate to. They even throw in a killer cover of the Forgotten Rebel’s “Surfin’ On Heroin” which Mickey DeSadist himself helps out on. The strongest on the album in my opinion is the ball grabbin, riff laden tune, “Down” which is finding it’s way onto the radio in London and a few other stations with balls enough to play some fuckin good local heavy music.
Bob’s got himself one motherfucker of a drummer in Dave Wyles. While his drumming has only gotten better since the egghead days in his first real band, Maelstrom, a hopeful St. Thomas, ON metal band that crashed n burned early on, I gotta say he was lookin pretty rough. Just goes to show the rock n roll lifestyle looks great on some people but eventually catches up and bootfucks others. Although he was lookin pretty haggard, like I said, Wylie is still kickin ass with perfect metronomic timing and control especially considering the kit he was playing wasn’t even his own. I know as a half assed, wanna-be drummer, if the kit aint set exactly how I like it I spend the first four songs fucking around adjusting everything before I feel comfy behind someone else’s kit. But just like fuckin up someone’s car seat or better yet, the boss’s 90 function office chair, the original owner spends considerable growl time readjusting his shit to his specifications all the while damning you to hell. Bassist, Stan Fountain is in the same boat as Dave. He’s lookin something like one of the killers from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a fitting look considering the axe he was sportin that night looks like it could behead a guy on a Greyhound with only half a swing. That being said, both Dave and Stan could point at me and accuse me of eating one of their crew members in one sitting. But really, what the fuck does looks matter in metal? It’s not like Bobnoxious and the gang are out hunting for pussy. If they were, they’d be wearing suits, playing lullabies and handing out roses and panty remover to the girls in perverts row. Despite the haircut, the most normal looking guy in the band, Jeff Bialkowski, (say that once and win a prize) gives me the impression that he’s quite possibly the most twisted of ‘em all. I could be wrong but in my own mind I never am, so I fuckin doubt it. Jeffy B. is a pretty fine ass kicker on lead guitar. His black Jackson flying V with white polka-dots and Matthias Jabs stripes, looks like a tribute to a couple of my favourite guitarists, the most obvious being Randy Rhoads.
The whole band is as tight as my Scottish grandfather and I aint talking about Bobnoxious’s sporran either. These guys have been playing together long enough to know exactly what each other is doing and when. There are very few major slip ups noticeable to the human ear at a Bobnoxious show unless the sound guy is Surfin on Heroin. They haul around their own set of lights and smoke machine just to make sure they’re gonna be seen the way they wanna be seen, and their crew is only rivaled by the likes of Kiss in loyalty. If you’re into metal, or hard rock, Bobnoxious is a band that you need to add to your life soundtrack. Get the new album “Super Scar” and you’ll see what I’m talkin about. CHEERS FUCKERS!!!!