Thursday, September 5, 2013

REVIEW: The Black Tambourines - The Black Tambourines

With the DIY ethos and lo-fi values appropriate to the scuzzy garage rock space, the surfy touches appropriate to a band near the ocean's shore, and the punk attitude ... well, because these guys have good taste, the UK's The Black Tambourines have been one of my favorite garage bands since I was introduced to them a few years ago by a blog in Edinburgh.  Until now, I've had to make do with the EPs the band offered over the internet.  But their self-titled debut LP hit the streets this week via Art Is Hard Records, so I am a happy, happy man.

The focus is adrenaline charged blasts, more like Ty Segall's early Traditional Fools recordings or the excellent Terry Malts than The Mantles or Sonny and the Sunsets.  And it isn't that The Black Tambourines can't dial it back (as evidenced by the final track, "Back There Again"), it is that they have chosen to make their case with the gas foot pressed to the floor.  Tracks such as "Ghost at a Party" have a more surf rock vibe, with lower-register guitars taking front stage.  Others have a punkier feel.  But I don't think The Black Tambourines feel the need to showcase versatility at this point; they just want us to know they have arrived.  So you can take them or leave them in their noisy glory.  For my money, it is one of the best garage rock debuts of the year.

"Ghost at a Party", "Bodies" and "Crosseyed" provide your tasting menu.  I recommend the entire meal.

Label's Bandcamp for album
Art Is Hard

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