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Monday, December 21, 2009

Echoreview: Bambara's Dog Ear Days EP

Cover art for Dog Ear Days by Bambara

You've heard the buzz. As a live band, Bambara's nothing short of breathtaking. You haven't lived until you've seen this band conquer the stage. Now, a year after the release of their self-titled full length debut album, Bambara's ready to share a few more eardrum-pounding tunes with their EP, Dog Ear Days. So, how does it stack up?

The first track, Repeat After Me, starts things off with a bang, or rather, an explosion. It makes great use of the noise technique to create a unique, screeching rhythm that completely surrounds you and makes you feel as if the band is playing it live right of front of you. Then Drag Hesitation blasts onto the scene with an Indiana Jones-style intro and some soft, beautiful singing. The building feedback noise that finishes the tune manages to somehow resemble the machinery wail of the monster on LOST which creates an incredible anticipation of doom. All in all, it's quite a dark song; put very simply, though, I love it!

Stay Gray arrives next, bringing with it a return to the louder tracks. It's certainly got great rhythm. Following this noise intensive ride, Feed the Pigs marches in with a beat almost like that of an approaching train. Ghostlike singing floats through the air ever softly. How very eerie! To be honest, this song actually managed to frighten me a quite a bit. Its creeping, gloomy sound would be completely at home in a horror film, and its layered vocals are stunningly dark. In keeping with the rest of this journey into the unknown, the second half of the song seems to segue into another different but related tune: a rather ominous piano solo enhanced by ethereal, otherworldly noises. Essentially, Feed the Pigs is quite possibly the most deliciously terrifying song I've ever heard.

Swim with the Trees and Chiromancy hold the conclusion of the story within their tunes. Swim with Trees, to me, felt like drowning. This sensation was heightened by the incomprehensible lyrics that peppered the song, sounding almost as if they were being whispered through a deep blanket of water. Chiromancy rounds out the EP with another eerie, suspense-filled tune. Where will it lead? The tension in this song is tangible as it builds towards a veritable explosion in the very middle of the song. It's a massive chase scene that splashes unclear visions of dark stairwalls and shadow-covered figures across the mind. And then... it ends. Completely and suddenly, the music ceases to be.

All of these songs create such incredibly vivid imagery in my mind that I feel like I've actually just finished watching a horror film. In fact, this entire album would be the perfect soundtrack for such a film. Although it admittedly lacks the sheer sexiness of sound that their last album displayed, it's certainly quite the track lineup! To hear Dog Ear Days for yourself, be sure to check out the download of the EP right here, and don't miss the official release of the record in January!

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