That’s right, I didn’t say “releases”, I said “unleashes”.

Sometimes these kinds of words matter.

The Boom Boom Box has been fairly quiet since their self-titled EP was released almost 3 years ago, when breakneck songs like “Henry the Skunk” shook the teeth out of our heads. Their stage shows, which often saw the band accompanied by neon light installations, were always fewer and farther between than this music fan would have liked.

But man, nobody had any idea what was coming when they released their new album, “Until Your Eyes Get Used to the Darkness” just a couple of weeks ago on January 17th. From the first pounding beats of the first track, “White Chocolate”, you realize that this album was going to make their EP sound downright ambient.

There are certain “Top This” moments in pop culture. Moments in movies or music that serve as a creative dare to everyone else out there to try to get close to it. Consider the moment in True Lies, at the end where Ahnuld is hovering in a Harrier Jet, clinging to his daughter through the broken cockpit window. The bad guy has slid off the side and now hangs onto a missile by the very fabric of his clothes. Arnold looks through the building he’s hovering next to, which has had an entire floor hollowed out by flying lead, and sees the helicopter full of the bad guy’s minions on the other side. He turns the jet, unlocks the missile, and with an awsomely cheesetastic, “You’re fired,” he launches the missile, bad guy attached, through the cavernous building and into the helicopter on the other side, exploding into an apocalypse of metal, helicopter blades, glass, and body parts.

This album is the musical equivalent of that moment.

Front man Andrew Huffstetler’s voice rarely dips below a manic scream, punctuated by their signature pulsating drums and a Wailing Wall of fuzzy guitars in a punk-infused orgy only hinted at with their previous album. Slightly “tamer” songs (and that’s a relative term) like “Holiday” give you a little room to breathe amid feverish peaks of “City Bus”, “Wooden Sword”, and “Hit the Deck”. Finally finishing off with the heavy pounding pillar of sound that is “Hands,” with a full minute and a half of grinding guitar distortion, clearly with the intention of finishing off your every neuron before they let you go.

It really is a powerhouse record, and one that will set the bar for every other band in 2012.

Now let’s hope we see some more stage shows from these guys in the coming months.

Click the pic for a link to their album on Kirtland Records!