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Bambara

Dog Ear Days

(Emerald Weapon; US: 20 Feb 2010; UK: 20 Feb 2010)

Six is enough

Bambara’s six-song EP Dog Ear Days alternates wildly between bursts of hyper-distorted noise-rock and ultra-mellow somnambulism, with a bit of art-school sound collage thrown in for good measure. The release opens with “Repeat After Me”, a coruscating burst of crackling distortion and thundering percussion masking more than it reveals, its vocals barely audible in the mix. Strangely enough, the punchy little tune has its own charms. “Stay Gray” tries to repeat the formula, with less success but just as much sonic frenzy, while “Drag Hesitation” is slow and quiet and not very interesting (although the vocals are slightly more audible). “Feed the Pigs” tries to work both extremes into a single song. Album closer “Chiromancy” ups the noise ante even further but just ends up being unbearable. Is it really worth listening to something when you have to try so hard to enjoy it?

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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Bambara - "Repeat After Me"
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