Love On My Mind


Wharf Cat Records, 2022

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


A Brooklyn trio spearheaded by twin brothers Reid (vocals, guitar, noise) and Blaze Bateh (drums, keys, percussion), joined by childhood friend William Brookshire (bass, keys), as Bambara they've already penned several well received albums in the area of western gothic and noir-punk sounds.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This “mini-album,” penned during Covid lockdowns, sees the band finding new territory to explore, with peers from bands like Orville Frigs, Public Practice and Sunwatchers on board.

“Slither In The Rain” starts the listen with dense drumming and much atmosphere, which leaves it unclear if the tune will get ominous or bright. It ends up somewhere in the middle, where raw vocals suit the minimal, dreamy backdrop. “Mythic Love” follows, and gallops swiftly with a firm buzzing and bouts of sonically tuneful noise that flirts with post-punk and goth tendencies, all while using Bria Salmena's voice.

The middle tracks are “Birds” and “Point And Shoot”; the former benefits much from throbbing bass and a warm groove under the swirling melodies, while the latter emits a very interesting hazy version of noise-pop that mixes talking into a sort of psychedelic beat-poet mashing that even recruits saxophone courtesy of Jeff Tobias.

Right near the end, the punchy drums and sharp bass lines of “Feelin' Like A Funeral” embraces timeless pop ideas, though hardly in the traditional sense, and “Little Wars” exits the listen and builds into tense moment as well as retreating to bare bouts of beauty, where cameos from Drew Citron on vocals and Jason Disu on trombone won't go unnoticed.

If I were judging this album by its cover, I might have shelved it between Jackson Browne and The Lemonheads. Turns out, it's much more similar to the noisy post-punk/alt-rock that you could find on the Touch & Go Record Label in the '80s, and that's quite alright with me.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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