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Artist : Bambara
Album : Stray
Label : Wharf Cat Records
Release date : 14 Feb 2020
Vinyl colour : Black
Catalogue Number : WCR098LP
Barcode : 0843563122204

  1. Miracle
  2. Heat Lightning
  3. Sing Me to the Street
  4. Serafina
  5. Death Croons
  6. Stay Cruel
  7. Ben & Lily
  8. Made for Me
  9. Sweat
  10. Machete

Bambara - twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh, singer/guitarist and drummer respectively and bassist William Brookshire - have been evolving their midnight-black noise into something more subtle and expansive ever since the release of their 2013 debut ‘Dreamviolence’. That process greatly accelerated on 2018’s ‘Shadow On Everything’, their first for New York’s Wharf Cat Records and a huge stride forward for the band both lyrically and sonically.

The first thing that strikes you about ‘Stray’, Bambara’s fourth - and greatest - album to date, will be its pulverizing soundscape. By turns, vast, atmospheric, cool, broiling and, at times - on stand out tracks like ‘Sing Me To The Street’ and ‘Serafina’ - simply overwhelming.

However, ‘Stray’ is not merely another, better entry in a catalogue full of darkly thrilling, blistering experimental rock-via-punk. Rather, early on in its conception the band made the decision to experiment with new compositions and song structures. The resulting addition of backing vocals from Drew Citron (Public Practice) and Anina Ivory- Block (Palberta) create a hauntingly beautiful contrast to Bateh’s drunken baritone on tracks like ‘Sing Me To The Street’, ‘Death Croons’ and ‘Stay Cruel’, while the Dick Dale-inspired guitar riffs on ‘Serafina’ and ‘Heat Lightning’ and the call-and-response choruses throughout the album showcase Bambara’s ability to write songs that immediately demand repeat listens.

These are just a few of the changes that reveal this album to be the monumental step forward that it is. Here Bambara finally sound like they’ve locked into what they were always destined to achieve, and the effect is nothing short of electrifying.

“Beautifully dynamic nightmare” - NPR

“One of my favourite things I finally saw for the first time at South By this year” - Steve Lamacq

“Very few artists these days make rock and roll as threatening as Bambara” - Loud And Quiet “An abrasive, awesome ripper” - Treble

Genre: Rock, Folk, World, & Country Style: Post-Punk, Rockabilly

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