During the opening track of Bambara's Dog Ear Days,
"Repeat After Me", I'm excited. The song is a throwback
to the noisy post-hardcore art-damage of classic D.C. bands like Rites
Of Spring. Big drums, scratchy guitar noise, impassioned vocals
screamed from painful heights.
Over the remaining 5 tracks my enthusiasm drops precipitously as
the energy level falls off a cliff, the vocals are drowned in a muddy
swamp of effects and noise, and the EP loses its footing entirely.
"Drag Hesitation" starts the EP's downward spiral. Built
around a droning piano riff, the drums and heavy-handed effects simply
overpower the entire production. "Stay Gray" moves back
into post-punk territory and is an entertaining diversion from the
murk of the rest of the EP. The wheels come entirely off this cart
with "Feed The Pigs" and "Swim With The Trees".
Between the 2 there are nearly 10 minutes of instrumental noise. Both
with droning background moaning and unintelligible spoken-word vocals
that don't serve any useful purpose. The EP ends on a high-ish note
with "Chiromancy" which splits the difference between the
noisy post-punk and droning instrumentals of the rest of the album.
Bambara's saving grace is that there is good music buried under all
the noise. With less heavy-handed production these guys are probably
capable of an exceptional album. I'll keep my fingers crossed for
the next one.
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