Monday, 4 June 2012

Bombay Show Pig Have A Lot To Show Off

I already wrote about this band a few times. Dutch duo Bombay Show Pig seem to have come out of nowhere, but the truth is that they have been around for some years. Drum player Linda van Leeuwen and guitarist Mathias Janmaat have been out there for quite some time in other bands. They formed this group while studying at the music college. Originally they started out with three but singer Christian Kratzsch fell off the wagon down the road. Now the remaining two are taking turns singing. Last month they released their first full album Vulture/Provider.

Bombay Show Pig - Vulture/Provider (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)

The physical record itself (and I'm looking at a vinyl copy) already is worth the purchase, since the art work is just stunning. And this is representative for the whole album. It's obvious they spent a lot of time and effort on it. The production is spot on, the songs are of a high level and the music is great. They recorded the album in producer Simon Akkerman's Epic Rainbow Unicorn Studio at the same location as Colin Benders' (who we know as Kyteman) Kytopia studios. So whenever they needed help, they could just ask anyone who happened to be around. As a result the record has several guest musicians, and this gives a broad variation in music. By taking turns in vocals, the songs get a different character, adding even more to the variation.

There's some use of electronics like drum loops and samples, laying down several layers in the music. 'Sharp Like' is a good example of this. It starts out with strings and then slowly builds up to a big explosion of noise. Most songs have a tight heavy groove as a foundation. Van Leeuwen is doing a great job here. It gives songs like 'Heart In A Headlock' and 'Ill Intention', which are quite heavy, the solid support they need.

Most tracks are short, but still there are enough twists and turns to give them enough dynamics, without losing a to-the-point feel. Only once does a song run beyond five minutes, 'Start/Rewind', that bundles the essence of the whole album: noisy, heavy parts are followed by quieter more mellow pieces. And this is exactly how the record turns out: many songs are quite heavy and full of noise, with room for more mellow tunes, like the very catchy 'Stuck In My State Of Mind'.

It's good to see, and remarkable at the same time, that they have managed to find a way to play this rich variation in songs convincingly live on stage with only the two of them. They are both taking care of the electronic instruments next to their regular instrument. I can only recommend to go see them perform. And at the end of the show get that great looking album. Preferably that eye-popping vinyl beauty.

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