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Bos Taurus: Press

Bos Taurus - In the Sun: "Led by guitarist Steve Chesser, the Delaware-based band Bos Taurus released their latest album, “In The Sun”, earlier this year. He’s joined by a set of “who’s who” among the indie power pop and rock arena, including lead guitarist Shawn O'Neill (The Knobs), bassist Sam Musumeci (The Caulfields, Mercy River, The Knobs), multi-instrumentalist Phil Young (The Cocks, The Knobs, The Rubber Uglies), drummer Pete Romano, and backing vocalist Heather Plank.

Themes of loss, disappointment, and regret predominant on “In The Sun”. The sound of the band draws heavily from its influences, which include The Pixies, The Shins, and Yo La Tengo. If you’re into any of those bands, odds are you are going to dig Bos Taurus. Building from their recent success in earning a Spark Award for the Best Pop Band at the 2009 Delaware Music Awards, Bos Taurus is raising the bar on this sophomore effort. The songs here are meticulously crafted with well-placed harmonies and a mix of acoustic and jangle pop guitar tones. Highlights include the Posies-inspired “Even Now”, the bouncy and horn-laced “Just Like Lightning”, and the driving rocker “The Silence”. Reminiscent of R.E.M.’s heyday, the title track is one of my favorites, with Plank’s backing vocals providing the perfect accompaniment to this savory piece of ear candy. The back half wasn’t grabbing me as fast, but I sense that with repeated listens a deeper appreciation of the songwriting will reveal itself.
No sophomore jinx here – Bos Taurus has gone to new heights with “In The SuLed by guitarist Steve Chesser, the Delaware-based band Bos Taurus released their latest album, “In The Sun”, earlier this year. He’s joined by a set of “who’s who” among the indie power pop and rock arena, including lead guitarist Shawn O'Neill (The Knobs), bassist Sam Musumeci (The Caulfields, Mercy River, The Knobs), multi-instrumentalist Phil Young (The Cocks, The Knobs, The Rubber Uglies), drummer Pete Romano, and backing vocalist Heather Plank.

Themes of loss, disappointment, and regret predominant on “In The Sun”. The sound of the band draws heavily from its influences, which include The Pixies, The Shins, and Yo La Tengo. If you’re into any of those bands, odds are you are going to dig Bos Taurus. Building from their recent success in earning a Spark Award for the Best Pop Band at the 2009 Delaware Music Awards, Bos Taurus is raising the bar on this sophomore effort. The songs here are meticulously crafted with well-placed harmonies and a mix of acoustic and jangle pop guitar tones. Highlights include the Posies-inspired “Even Now”, the bouncy and horn-laced “Just Like Lightning”, and the driving rocker “The Silence”. Reminiscent of R.E.M.’s heyday, the title track is one of my favorites, with Plank’s backing vocals providing the perfect accompaniment to this savory piece of ear candy. The back half wasn’t grabbing me as fast, but I sense that with repeated listens a deeper appreciation of the songwriting will reveal itself.

No sophomore jinx here – Bos Taurus has gone to new heights with “In The Sun”."

Bos Taurus - In the Sun: "I was happy to introduce Bos Taurus a few years ago, finally after a long wait we get Steve Chesser’s follow-up, In The Sun. The sound and atmosphere has completely changed from the debut, and the songwriting reflects a much lighter pop sound, with REM styled jangle and Belle & Sebastian like intimacy.

“I’m Fine” slowly fades in and sets up a light summery vibe. On “Even Now” the jangling rhythm and harmony rain down with well placed guitar solos between each chorus. Some horns, piano and female backing vocals are added to the infectious “Just Like Lightning.” The same approach is taken with the catchy title track, and the sounds here start to remind me of Field Music. Some songs feel like they want to break the format, “Precious Pearls” is an example of the densely layered approach of two both styles (soft pop rhythm and rock guitar). In any case the overall results do make for a compelling listen. Occasionally the lack of hooks (“Household Of Your Soul”) and the repetitive tempos (“If”) make it a chore. But when Chesser is able to get his guitar at the forefront of a melody, like on the Joe Jackson-ish “Must Be The Light,” its pure magic. A great summer album arrived early, so check it out." (8 out of 10 stars)
Bos Taurus in Philadelphia Weekly, 1/2/2010 A one-man band in the studio – that man being singer/multi-instrumentalist Steve Chesser – Wilmington, Delaware’s Bos Taurus expands to a four-piece live to play a brand of unpolished but lively indie-rock that sounds like a mash-up of mid-to-late ’80s college radio (in a good way). In other words, behind Chesser’s smooth, everydude tenor we can pick out bits of old R.E.M. and Hoodoo Gurus in the jangly guitars; the Church during the dreamier, more atmospheric passages; and maybe some Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr., and Pixies during the chewier, noisier turns. Rather than disappoint us for being a tad derivative, Bos Taurus actually warms our vintage-college-rock-lovin’ hearts.
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Bos Taurus Wins a DMA at the Delaware Music Festival - 4/2009< The Spark Weekly staff hit the Rusty Rudder in Dewey Beach, DE, the weekend of April 3-4, 2009, for the Delaware Music Festival, where the 3rd annual Delaware Music Awards were given to five deserving bands in five different genres. The awards were determined by local club and bar owners, publicists, promoters, producers and other musical people in the know. Awards were given for Best Pop, Jam, Rock, Alt and Breakout Band for 2009. Bos Taurus wins for Best Pop Band. Here's the follow-up article from Spark Magazine.

The Band: Steve Chesser, guitar and vocals; Shawn O'Neill, lead guitar; Tim Gove, bass; Phil Young, drums and vocals.

Congratulations on winning the 2009 Delaware Music Award for Best Pop Band. "Yeah, thanks. I was totally surprised when I found out. And happy. I didn't even know we'd been nominated, but it's great to be honored like this." -- Steve

Where does this award rank on the list of your life's achievements? "Haha. Well, I've actually won an award or two in my previous life as a drummer at a jazz festival, but musically speaking, it's right up there with anything like that. I'm particularly happy with this award because I only started writing songs three years ago, so this is a nice validation of what I'm doing now, to know that it's appreciated and worthwhile."

Where will you put the trophy? "I guess it depends on how big it is. If it's really big, I'll probably put it in my house somewhere. If it's smaller, maybe I'll mount it on our van like a hood ornament. That way everyone can kind of make way for us, almost like Moses parting the Red Sea."

Who will get the trophy first? Will it be passed around like the Stanley Cup? "I'll get it first, but yeah, it'll probably get passed around. Too bad it's not shaped like a cup, so that each band member could drink their favorite beverage out of it."

We'll consider that design input for next year. But for now, what's next for you guys? What are you currently working on? "I've written about 14-15 songs since the first album ["It's Plain"] came out and several of them are currently in our setlist. I'll be recording the second album shortly, so we'll hope to have a new record out by the end of the year. In the meantime, we're looking at a possible East Coast tour, down to North Carolina and up through Richmond, sometime in the near future."
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Bos Taurus - It's Plain: This Delaware band adds their wrinkle to power pop by combining it with 80s college rock and 00s indie pop stylings, and it yields a fine brew. Plenty to choose from here, but the picks of the litter are "Dead Inside", which pulls off the time-old trick of matching dark lyrics with sweet melodies, the Bob Mould-influenced "Fool", the melancholy "What Comes Around" and the circa-80s R.E.M. drive of the title track. No bull here: Bos Taurus delivers the goods.
Bos Taurus - "It's Plain" Delaware native Steve Chesser has put together a group of songs he describes as "anatomically correct indie pop." It started as a group of home-grown demos and they are gathered here. The album starts out exceptionally strong with "Anyway, Anyhow" and one can compare the skilled melodies with multi-part guitars to Jeff Murphy or Todd Rundgren. The song tempo speeds up for the excellent "Dead Inside" which is the catchiest song about nihilism I've heard since Nillson's "One" that isn't a ballad. The guitar work and harmonies are beautifully composed and performed. "Fool" adds a slightly harder edge, and the juxtaposed guitar and vocals on "What Comes Around" are incredible, kind of like if Dave Grohl joined Sugar Ray, instead of Foo Fighters. The mid tempo ballad "The Day You Left" is another standout (although the metronome beat is annoying).

Towards the latter end of the album the tone starts to change to more conventional jangle pop, this starts on "Evermore" and continues through "Some Say" where REM and Sebadoh's DIY feel start to dominate the sound. Chesser also did everything here, all the instruments, recording and engineering. And that is my only pet peeve here, this album would be truly great if a top notch pop producer, like Jason Falkner got a hold of these tracks. The songs are too good for the lo-fi auteur approach. Don't let that prevent you from hearing this though. Fans of REM, Shoes, and Smog will love this."
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Genre: Alt/Indie/Pop

Hometown: Wilmington

Who's who: Steve Chesser, guitar and vocals; Shawn O'Neill, guitar; Tim Gove, bass; Phil Young, drums.

Behind the name: "I had a heart valve replaced a year-and-a-half ago and the replacement valve was made of bovine tissue, or basically cow's tissue. The genus of species they used was the Bos Taurus, so I'm now part cow. Funny thing is, about 10 or 15 years ago, I was keeping a list of what I thought would make cool band or album names, and that was one of the names I'd written down. Since I wrote a majority of the material on the 'It's Plain' album while I was sitting on my ass recovering, the name Bos Taurus just seemed to fit. It made sense." -Steve

MySpace: www.myspace.com/therealbostaurus

Web: www.therealbostaurus.com

Upcoming Gigs: Dec. 20, Mojo 13, 9 p.m.

If you've got time to listen to one track on their MySpace page, listen to this: "I'd have to say, 'It's Plain,' the title track. It's a fairly quick song (at three minutes), but very hooky with a combination of intensity and release." -Steve

Speaking of your MySpace page, you describe your music as "anatomically correct indie pop." Care to elaborate? "Ask 10 people what they consider indie pop and you'll probably get eight different answers. Basically it's indie pop in its most true form. There's no electronics and no other influences going on. It's what it is." -Steve

What do you drink on stage? "I need two full bottles of Miller High Life next to the drum kit." -Phil

Favorite local venue: "Mojo 13; the place is great because, as a band, you always want to play where music fans will be, not just people getting drunk. It doesn't matter how many or how few people are there, you know they're going to be into the music that's playing." -Phil
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On 'It's Plain,' he played every instrument, sang every note
By RYAN CORMIER
Wilmington News Journal
November 7, 2008

It's been more than four years since Wilmington pop/rock band The Knobs evaporated after the death of the band's leader, Phil Healy.

Not long after the band's demise, guitarist Phil Young went on to form The Cocks, a rock band in the same vein of The Knobs, but a bit more of a growl.

Well, another ex-Knob has now surfaced with a project that's a bit closer to the sugary pop that The Knobs had perfected.

Former Knobs drummer Steve Chesser was a one-man band for the recording of his band Bos Taurus' album, "It's Plain."

Chesser played every instrument -- from the guitar and drums to the piano and tambourine -- and sang every note on the band's 12-track indie pop debut, which was made over the past 1 1/2 years in his Wilmington home studio. It's a truly an impressive feat, especially considering Chesser wrote about half the album while recovering from open heart surgery last year.

Bos Taurus will celebrate the release of "It's Plain" with a concert Saturday night at Mojo 13 (1706 Philadelphia Pike, Holly Oak). Chesser will reunite with former Knobs Shawn O'Neill (guitar) and Young (drums). Tim Gove from Tony Travalini & the Still Lives will play bass.

The show starts at 9 p.m. with sets from Chicago's The Safes and Newark songbird Jenny Bostick. There is a $5 cover. For more information, go to www.myspace.com/therealbostaurus.
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(Ed. Note: Mark Rogers, the DJ on the Hometown Heroes program at WSTW, in Wilmington, DE, gives Bos Taurus a spin on his Hometown Heroes program on Sunday, December 14, 2008 - click the link below to hear it. A pretty funny side note about this is that the guest band in the studio the night he plays the song is the Caulfields, a well-known (but now defunct) band from the area who still does the occasional show. There are connections galore between Bos Taurus, the Caulfields, and the Knobs...makes for some good dialog on the program.)