The first thing that strikes you about ‘Stray’, Bambara’s fourth album to date, will be its pulverizing soundscape. By turns, vast, atmospheric, cool, broiling and, at times – on stand out tracks like ‘Sing Me To The Street’ and ‘Serafina’ – simply overwhelming. But ‘Stray’ is not merely another, better entry in a catalog full of darkly thrilling, blistering experimental rock-via-punk. Rather, early on in its conception the band made the decision to experiment with new compositions and song structures. The resulting addition of backing vocals from Drew Citron (Public Practice) and Anina Ivory-Block (Palberta) create a hauntingly beautiful contrast to Bateh’s drunken baritone on tracks like ‘Sing Me To The Street’, ‘Death Croons’ and ‘Stay Cruel,’ while the Dick Dale-inspired guitar riffs on ‘Serafina’ and ‘Heat Lightning’ and the call-and-response choruses throughout the album showcase Bambara’s ability to write songs that immediately demand repeat listens.
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