Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bamboo Kids - Safe City Blues (2013)

Four years after their last transmission (and seven since their last full-length), the Bamboo Kids show up with their very own London Calling.  Twenty-one songs (with 9 bonus tracks accompanying the digital download), chockful of everything these guys can think of, which amounts to a glorious sprawl of punk rock, Stones licks, pianos, horns, hooks and gutter wisdom. Songs like "Dumb for Life"  power through on sheer adrenaline, while "Batshit Crazy" chews on an Exploding Hearts bubblegum melody and "Privacy" jumps on top of a 50s rock & roll strut. Singer/guitarist Dwight Weeks wields his guitar as if he's spent equal amounts of time listening to Keith Richards and Johnny Thunders (and moments like the muscular lead that explodes out of "The Most Important Rule" suggest a Mick Ronson influence as well). The various keyboards, from pounding 88s to droning roller rink organ, coupled with the wise-ass strain in Weeks' vocals conjure up the days when Mott the Hoople was attempting to draw a line between Dylan and Jerry Lee Lewis. This is seriously on that level.  Safe City Blues presents a band with all the right influences wearing those influences on their collective sleeve, playing their hearts out, all while being fully aware of the futility of taking a stance like this in 2013. I tell ya, it ain't nothing but heroic.

Bamboo Kids at Drug Front Records