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Intensity!

Bambi Molesters

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Album Review

Having made an initial splash with Dumb Loud Hollow Twang, the Bambi Molesters stepped up to a more sympathetic recording environment and the advantages of having a little more time with their second album, Intensity! In ways, of course, the band simply needed to keep on keeping on — a good surf-rock-inspired band will always have energy and good times on its side — but the quartet showed here that solely revisiting the past wouldn't be enough. If anything, the secret ingredient of the group — a healthy love for garage rock and moody '60s film soundtracks (not for nothing did the band help put together a Morricone tribute) adding a darker undertow to many of the band's songs — surfaces more here on songs like "Golden Spike." But the basic templates and touchstones remain — that the second song is a cover of surf-rock legend-above-all Dick Dale's "The Wedge" is both perfectly understandable and a great excuse for everyone to go all out. If Dalibor Pavicic and Dinko Tomljanovic aren't claiming to be the second coming, they do the guitar legend proud nonetheless, while their chops on the band's many originals are mighty fine. The bass and drum work of Lada and Hrvoje Zaborac make for a perfect counterpart, swathed in echo but never buried, rolling along with songs like "Central Coast Swing" and "Chase." Perhaps the secret winner is an inspired cover of a traditional Balkan folk song, "Napuljska Gitara" — given a blissful, merry arrangement that sounds like Zagreb and Honolulu ended up switching places, it's a lovely song and testimony to the universality of guitar music in two minutes' time. Meanwhile, the band's sense of humor remains perfectly intact, as titles like "Bikini Machines" (which has a wonderfully giddy guitar break or two) and "Invasion of the Reverb Snatchers" demonstrate perfectly.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Croatian surf rock revivalists the Bambi Molesters formed in 1995. Operating as tight-knit live unit, they recorded their first album, Dumb Loud Hollow Twang, in only three hours, and not long after their second release (1999’s Intensity), the band was playing arenas, opening for the Cramps, Man or Astro-man?, and R.E.M. 2001’s Sonic Bullets: 13 from the Hip featured guest spots from touring pals including Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows), Speedo Martinez (the Flaming Sideburns),...
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Intensity!, Bambi Molesters
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