With the release of DREAMVIOLENCE, the Brooklyn-based trio Bambara, comprised of twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh and William Brookshire quickly became a JOVM mainstay act and exploded into the national scene for a abrasive and punishing sound that’s indebted to the likes of A Place to Bury Strangers, The Jesus and Mary Chain and others.
Since the release of DREAMVIOLENCE, the Brooklyn-based trio has gone through a decided change in sonic direction with their sound increasingly incorporating element of punk rock, trash punk and psychedelia — and as a result, their sound has become much more abrasive, forceful and propulsive as you’ll hear on “All The Ugly Things,” the first single off the band’s long-awaited sophomore effort, Swarm. Unsurprisingly, the material’s — and in turn, the single’s — abrasive quality was inspired by the trio’s surroundings: Reid Bateh’s lyrics describe a New York that’s stark, grimy, bleak, merciless and full of unhinged, unstable characters desperately trying to survive with whatever dignity, decent and sanity they have left. And at times it sounds and feels like an urgent and desperate howl of pain into a cold, indifferent void.
Co-directed by the members of Bambara and William Hart, the recently released music video for “All The Ugly Things” is darkly surreal as it features the band’s frontman Reid Bateh performing in front of a bemused and indifferent group of people as he’s being jostled, pushed, tugged and spun about as though he were on a rocking subway train, thanks to a harness that’s attached to his waist. In some way, it’s a metaphor for how life can actually seem to those who have recently moved to New York — and in another way, it can also be a metaphor for how it would feel to perform in front of a crowd who doesn’t quite get your urgently noisy flailing about.