Released: 2013, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
With the release of their sophomore album THE POET AND THE PARROT, Bombus have forged ahead with their own unique blend of metal and rock, adding texture from numerous other influences. Since starting in 2008, they have released three 7" vinyl singles and one self-titled, self-released album, all with the intention of taking elements of the music they enjoyed while growing up (Motörhead, Metallica, Melvins, Poison Idea, WASP) and mixing it up and booting it into the present. Their debut album received excellent reviews, getting noticed as much for its success in achieving that goal as for its originality. It is an album of contrasts, with trippy psychedelic instrumentals sitting alongside gritty rock in an arrangement that keeps you guessing what's coming next.
Whereas the first album sometimes whacks listeners over the head with a 180 change from one track to the next, their second and latest album, THE POET AND THE PARROT, has a more consistent arrangement, with each track incorporating elements that make Bombus distinctive, while retaining the metal/rock sound throughout. This allows it to flow well from start to finish, with an opener called "Enter The Night" that sets the bar to headbang - and that is where it stays, whether you're listening to the story told by the title track or the anguished emotiveness of "Liar". The fifth track "Apparatus" (released as a single in May) kicks off with a compelling riff suspended over the drums, rocking an upbeat yet slightly sinister tone. It's a perfect musical prelude to a pub fight (and guess what happens in the video?) before launching into apocalyptic style lyrics, with a distinct Motörhead/punk influence. And the seventh, "Master The Reality", combines a killer intro with Maiden-esque riffing and stoner-style vocals that evoke an otherworldly feel.
Overall, it shows a refining of what got them noticed in the first place. In much the same way they've drawn on their heroes for inspiration, they've drawn on the strong points from the previous album and crafted a slice of sound that is both pared down and beefed up. At just over forty minutes long, the 8-track album is concise and easily holds your attention all the way through with its relentless energy.
The production of this sophomore album has a more curated feel to it, not only in the song arrangement but also in the choice of cover art, which has morphed from 70s style psychedelic lettering to an even more psychedelic and (literally) rocky outcrop with enigmatic figures carved into it. This fits in nicely with a sound that builds on old favourites while carving its own unique signature. If you're after original but still recognisable music, and especially if you're a fan of the band's musical influences, then you will like this album.
Review by Jane Playdon