If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past three or four years, you’d probably be familiar with JOVM mainstay act Bambara. Comprised of twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh and their childhood friend, William Brookshire, the band formed back in 2008 when all three members were living in Athens, GA. After relocating to Brooklyn and recording their debut effort DREAMVIOLENCE, the trio exploded into the national scene for a punishing sound that compared favorably to the likes of A Place to Bury Strangers, Weekend, and others. Since the release of DREAMVIOLENCE the Brooklyn-based trio’s sound has increasingly incorporated elements of punk rock and thrash punk — and as a result, their sound has generally become much more abrasive and forceful as you’d hear on “All The Ugly Things,” the first single off the band’s long-awaited and recently released sophomore effort Swarm.
According to the band, the material’s — and in turn, the album’s first single — abrasive quality was largely inspired by the trio’s immediate surroundings; in fact, Reid Bateh’s lyrics describe a New York that’s stark, grimy, mercilessly bleak and full of unhinged, unstable characters desperately trying to survive with whatever dignity, decency and shred of sanity they have remaining. Interestingly though, the album’s latest single “An Ill Son” manages to possess the same bleak sound of the album’s previous single; however, the band sound as though they were drawing equally from thrash punk, surfer rock, garage rock and post-punk as angular, slashing guitar chords are played through gentle amounts of reverb and are paired with propulsive drumming and Reid Bateh’s unhinged crooning. Sonically, the song reminds me quite a bit of The Amazing Snakeheads‘ incredible Amphetamine Ballads, as “An Ill Son” focuses on the grim and seedy underworld that most people are largely ignorant about — and with a tense, bristling anxiousness.