Saturday, February 27, 2016
Album Review: Bombus – Repeat Until Death
Things are sounding good. What we have here is as solid a series of grooves and as powerful a hit as we’ve come to expect from the Bombus boys. First of the bat, three cheers for the butch, meaty mastering job that Jens Bogren has managed to bring to the table after the raw, live feel of 2013’s The Poet And The Parrot. Layered deep to create a moving tsunami of sound this welds together the raw, gritty power of Motorhead with the driven riffing and voluble delivery of Stone Gods (yep, bonus points for those that remember The Darkness’ Dan Hawkins and his impossibly powerful, yet woefully short-lived, side project).
From Ola Henriksson’s first vast bass strike and warming buzz that disseminates slowly only to reveal a bona fide sonic riot, you know all is going to be well. “Eyes On The Price” positively glows with massive choruses, repeating dual vocal (think Richie Edwards in one ear and Lemmy in the other) and an absolute avalanche of electric guitars and rumbling bass. Rarely straying from this righteous path, we hot-foot it through the pile-driving “Rust”, rock-tastic “Horde Of Flies” and the smash-and-grab 3-minute title-track. There’s a pattern emerging, right? But hold on right there, Slick. Rewind a sec and dig a little deeper.
Third track in and “Deadweight” is where the pace slows and the album starts to splinter. Still rocking with the best of them, they now load up on metallic bite and sport a dark brooding visage. Behind, you’ll find a world of vitriol and sinister minor chords that weave whole new paths. Bombus have evolved!
Shifting mindsets then, we hit the gamechanger “I Call You Over (Hairy Teeth, Part 2)”. Those curious souls amogst you will find the rumbling, bass-loaded “[Pt. 1]” lurking within the confines of their debut album. “Part 2” has opening piano and post-rock drift harmonics in the verses (Between The Buried And Me fans, pay attention!) Those features pitch up oddly against the warm, almost gang-chanted chorus. It’s definitely a work in progress, but this proves they have the balls to go out on a limb and experiment.
As the album reaches it’s conclusion they take this new concept to a breath-takingly dark conclusion. The slow-melt chiming strings and visceral edge of “Shake Them For What They’re Worth” rings every last ounce out of the addictive lyrical hook they centre the track around. Reeling, we stagger into the power-hungry crush of “You The Man” and the swaggering, hooded menace of show-stopper “Get Your Cuts”. Two tracks that seal the deal.
I’ve always wondered where the line between rock and metal lies. Now, having heard Repeat Until Death, I know exactly its location and its name. It’s right here in the middle of this album. Brave, boundless and furiously catchy, Bombus have ticked every box and it will make them masters of their own destiny. Well played, boys, well played.