Show Your Teeth is Bombay's second album after 'Vulture / Provider'. With the new album comes a new drummer, Lisa Ann Jonker. As this album is the first of Bombay I'm exposed to, there are no comparisons, so I can focus on what is on offer in 2016. The previous effort was on my to do list, but dropped off as some albums unfortunately do.
The first thing I notice is the legacy of Caesar that is all over Show Your Teeth. In 'Sea' that influence is so obvious. The slightly treated singing and the alternative/indie rock trio sound that is all over the song. From there things like Avi Buffalo move in as well and other U.S. indie bands. In 'Sea' Mathias Janmaat, singer, guitarist and songwriter of Bombay, is clearly going for the title of alternative/indie pop songsmith. Nothing can be taken for granted but there are overt hints at pop here, without sidestepping to too commercial territories.
There is no easy way out for Bombay. Despite the fact that some elements in the music hint at prettiness, over most songs there is a layer of carefully adjusted dust covering up anything that could be called hi-fi. In fact Bombay shows elements of the perfect pop that an artist like Royal Parks is able to write, but the lo-fi elements tend towards alternative.
|Promo photo of Bombay|
At times Bombay gets very close to its favourites. At the same time several songs hold their own easily. The more upbeat 'Kids' comes right in time. The busy drums, the keyboards and lead guitar. All work for this song and lift it up.
'Slow Motion' is obviously the centerpiece of the album. The second song that has to really draw the listener into the album. In this it totally succeeds. It is very direct, in your face, indierock danceable and fun. Bombay shows that it can rock out and the indie background vocals add to the authenticity.
Taking it all in, I still can't suppress the thought that the album would have benefited from a less rigorous lo-fi recording process without taking any of the indie out of the songs. Now at times a song is almost mono so dull is the sound. The songs of Bombay hold a promise though as most are good and may just grow more on me than they already did. Show Your Teeth is a choice and not a missed opportunity. Still it is going to be interesting to hear what the future brings.
You can listen to 'Slow Motion' here:
or buy on Bol.com