Tag: Bambara Dreamviolence

New Video: Bambara Teams Up with Palberta’s Ani Ivry-Block and Public Practice’s Drew Citron on the Brooding and Atmospheric “Sing Me to the Street”

Throughout the course of this nine-plus year history of this site, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering long-time JOVM mainstays Bambara. Last year, the Brooklyn-based trio — brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh and their childhood friend William Brookshire — released their critically applauded third, full-length album Shadow on Everything. Sonically, the album’s material was a decisive and new direction for the band: the material found the band moving away from the noise rock and punk rock of their previously released material — 2013’s DREAMVIOLENCE and 2017’s Swarm — to incorporate a more Western Gothic-inspired take on punk rock and while still centered on their tight and forceful rhythm section, the album had the band place Reid Bateh’s vocals at the forefront, symbolically placing the damaged characters and seedy locales of his lyrics on center stage. And in some way, it captures something wholly and uniquely American.

While Shadow on Everything was constructed around one central narrative with each of its songs sort of functioning like chapters in a novel, the band’s fourth album Stray, which is slated for a February 14, 2020 release through Wharf Cat Records, plays more like a short story collection, featuring a group of inter-related characters, set in the band’s native Georgia. Interestingly, Stray’s second and latest single is the slow-burning  David Lynch soundtrack-like “Sing Me to the Street.” The brooding and meditative song features an atmospheric arrangement of shimmering and swirling synths, a sinuous baseline, Blaze Bateh’s metronomic drumming. Interestingly, while continuing a run of material centered around Reid Bateh’s moody and dramatic baritone, Palberta’s Ani Ivry-Block and Public Practice’s Drew Citron’s harmonies serve as an ethereal counterpart, giving a brief glimpse of gorgeousness through the gloom. Many of the Stray’s characters are named, like the album’s hard charging and explosive “Serafina” but as the band’s Reid Bateh explains in press notes, he used a different approach for “Sing Me to the Street,” ‘”Sing me to the Street’ is about loneliness, isolation, and the dreamy allure of chaos. The song follows an unnamed character wandering the streets of a vast city that feels both alive and abandoned, as he attempts to silence the persistent song of oblivion singing in his head.”

Co-directed by Will Hart and Bambara, the recently released video for “Sing Me to the Street” was filmed by Will Hart, and the video captures and evokes the loneliness and unease of an enormous city at night — and it does in a way that feels indebted to film noir and French New Wave cinema. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Bambara Release Darkly Surreal Visuals for “Monument”

Now throughout the eight-plus year history of this site, I’ve written a lot about the JOVM mainstays Bambara, and as you may recall, the trio, comprised of twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh and their childhood friend William Brookshire released their Andy Chugg-produced third, full-length album Shadow on Everything through Wharf Cat Records earlier this year, and the album is a decisive new, sonic direction for the Brooklyn-based band as they moved away from the noisy punk and post-punk of their previous two albums 2013’s DREAMVIOLENCE and last year’s Swarm to incorporate a Western Gothic-inspired take on punk rock. And while the music center remains the trio’s tight and forceful rhythm section featuring Blaze Bateh’s frenzied yet incredibly metronomic drumming and Brookshire’s propulsive bass lines, unlike their previously recorded output, Shadow on Everything finds the band placing Reid Bateh’s vocals at the forefront, symbolically placing the damaged characters and seedy locales of his lyrics at center stage, and in some way it captures something wholly and uniquely — well, American.

With album single  “Jose Tries to Leave,” the members of Bambara managed to retain the forceful yet nightmarish dynamism, while focusing on the lives and thoughts of desperate, fucked up, seedy sorts — with a humanistic and novelistic attention to psychological detail and empathy.  “Doe-Eyed Girl,” continued in a similar vein but was imbued with a sweaty and furious urgency, fueled by a seemingly manic, desperate obsession.  “Sunbleached Skulls” may arguably be among the murkiest and bleakest songs of the Brooklyn band’s growing catalog  as Reid Bateh’s dark imagery centers around buzzing flies around sun-bleached bones, rotting flesh, dirt and grime paired with Brookshire’s propulsive bass, Blaze Bateh’s mathematically precise, metronomic drumming and shimmering bursts of Western guitar figures, and while the song evokes writhing about in dirt, grit and grime, underneath the bleak air and foul stenches, there’s a strange sort of peace  — the sort that comes when strangers have found brief moments of companionship, tenderness and comfort in someone else, even when fleeting.

“Monument,” Shadows on Everything’s latest single is a forceful, unrelenting and malevolent thrasher of a track, that’s centered around pent up and unfulfilled tension, obsession and questionable intent. Of course, much like album’s preceding singles Reid Bateh’s Georgia drawl sings stream of consciousness-like lyrics that at points possess a surreal and nightmarish beauty.  Directed by the members of the band and filmed by Tim Ciavara, the recently released video is shot in a lush and cinematic black and white that brings Anton Corbijn to mind while emphasizing the song’s malevolent, fucked up air.

Comprised of founding trio, twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh and their childhood friend William Brookshire, JOVM mainstays Bambara initially formed in Athens, GA and as you may recall, after they relocated to Brooklyn, where they recorded their full-length debut DREAMVIOLENCE, the trio exploded into the national scene, thanks in part to a punishing, shoegaze and noise rock-inspired sound that drew comparisons to A Place to Bury StrangersWeekend, and others. However, with 2016’s sophomore effort, Swarm, the trio’s sound increasingly incorporated elements of stark, New York hardcore punk and thrash punk centered around Reid Bateh’s lyrics describing life in a stark, grimy, merciless city, full of neurotic, unhinged and deeply unstable characters trying to survive with whatever dignity, decency and shred of their own sanity they have remaining. And as a result, the album’s material possessed a tense, bristling fury.

Slated for an April 6, 2018 release, the Brooklyn-based trio’s forthcoming, third, full-length  Andy Chugg-produced Shadow on Everything is their first for Wharf Cat Records, and it reportedly represents a decisive step forward with the band transcending the early noise rock and post-punk that has long inspired them — with the new album being a Western Gothic concept album. And while the musical center still remains the trio’s tight rhythm section featuring Blaze Bateh’s frenzied yet metronomic drumming and Brookshire’s sinuous bass lines, which allow space for Reid Bateh’s squalling, feedback tinged guitar and howled vocals; however, where Reid Bateh’s vocals were buried in the mix for their previously recorded output, Shadow on Everything finds his vocals pulled towards the front, symbolically placing the damaged characters and seedy locales of his lyrics directly on the proverbial center stage. Additionally, the album finds the members of Bambara expanding upon their sound and instrumentation as it features violin and cornet arrangements with the material interspersed with ambient noise loops distilled down from hours of manipulated vocal collages the band shifted through to find the perfect texture.

Although “Jose Tries to Leave,” Shadow on Everything‘s first single features shimmering, almost Spaghetti Western-like guitar work paired with a propulsive and forceful rhythm section consisting of Blaze Bateh’s metronomic and thunderous drumming and Brookshire’s angular bass chords but unlike any of their previous work, the new single has a cinematic (and dramatic) air, capturing the lives and thoughts of desperate and seedy souls with both a novelist’s attention to psychological detail and empathy — but just underpinning the whole affair is a murky sense of menace and murder just around the corner.

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 StrangersWeekend, 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.

 

 

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past 3 or 4 years, you may be somewhat familiar with yet another 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 StrangersWeekend, and others.

Since the release of DREAMVIOLENCE the band’s sound has increasingly incorporated elements of punk rock and thrash punk — 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.

The trio have a few upcoming shows — including their album release show at Palisades with The Men, Pill and Hubble. Check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates

2/25/16 Brooklyn, NY: Palisades: Album Release Show with The Men, Pill and Hubble

3/12/16: Atlanta, GA: 529: with Guerrilla Toss and Muuy Biien

3/15/16 – 3/19/16: Austin, TX: SXSW