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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Record Review - Boom Pam

Audio Montage CD

Israeli-based trio Boom Pam add some spice to our musical lunch today, with their third studio record Alakazam. Served up is the lesser-spotted Mediterranean surf rock - the primary instruments here are the electric guitar, drums, and tuba. Yes, you read that right: tuba. It works, miraculously - the musicianship is first rate (I’m not surprised to hear they have performed with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra), the Fender licks a mixture of east and west (Hava Naglia meets Dick Dale you might say). The production is a bit processed for my tastes, but the energetic performances cut through that. ‘Surfing Tuba’ is the offspring of Dave Allen’s classic biker anthem ‘Blues Theme’, whilst things get a bit anarchic and well, a bit Benny Hill, on ‘Hamdulila’. Some tongues in cheeks may have been utilised whilst recording. The Farfisa-sounding organ on ‘The Fall’ give it some 60s authenticity, plus the song is simply great: flailing drums, a memorable riff, and enough changes to keep things interesting.

There is just three vocal tracks here, and they aren't as convincing as the instros: the singing just doesn’t fit the sonic mood well (and using a vocoder is simply WRONG). Having said that 'Light Up' is redeemed with some lovely harmonising and a sticky fuzz guitar line. This release shares much DNA with Denmark’s The Good The Bad, so something good must be in the sea air. If you like your surf rock non-conformist then perhaps you should check in at Alakazam.

Phil Istine

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