BAMBARA – ” Shadow of Everything ” Reissue

Posted: March 26, 2021 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
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Reissue of Bambara’s “Shadow On Everything“, released in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim, the album represented a decisive step forward for twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh – frontman and drummer, respectively – and their childhood friend, bassist William Brookshire.

Bambara is a grimy noise-rock band whose release “Shadow on Everything” is a cinematic achievement. The loose concept record mashes cowboy jangle with aggressive post-punk to form a scummy, empty landscape for characters to inhabit. Laced throughout is a winding, poetic tale of relationship strife and vignettes from the character’s hometown.

While prior to its release they had always been adept students of noise rock and post-punk, mining the work of bands like Swans and The Birthday Party to construct what NPR called “beautifully dynamic nightmares,” on “Shadow On Everything”, they boldly redefined their sound to create an album that clearly transcended their early influences and dramatically quickened the pace of their ascent from the underground. Consistent with their frenetic live set, the musical centre of Shadow On Everything is Bambara’s impossibly tight rhythm section, with Blaze’s manic drumming and William’s rock-steady bass-lines serving as the perfect canvas for Reid’s wild guitar squalls and howled vocals.

But the album’s recording marked the first time that Reid’s voice was pushed to the front of the mix, highlighting the damaged characters and seedy locales that interact and overlap throughout its 12 songs. A stridently experimental record, Shadow features everything from violin to saxophone arrangements, and is meticulously interspersed with outré ambient noise loops distilled down from hours of manipulated vocal collages.

Just two years after its release Shadow On Everything may seem like it was the logical next step for a band with experimental and punk origins that would go on to construct the intricate compositions displayed by its follow up Stray. In fact, Shadow On Everything  memorialises Bambara putting everything on the line, because they knew they could be more than what anyone may have seen in them up to that point in time.

Released 26th March 2021 Wharf Cat Records

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