New Zealand songwriter Aldous Harding’s sophomore album “Party” is punchier and even more haunting than her more folk-influenced debut.
Slingshotting off the momentum built from their 2013 breakout album, Curiosity, Wampire take another reassuring lunge forward with Bazaar, out October 7 on Polyvinyl Records. Similar to their debut, Bazaar was also produced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s bass player, Jacob Portrait, and the new album retains the familiar vintage air of analogue synth and the straight-to-tape live tracking feel that they’ve shown us before. But this is clearly not some one-trick-pony shit. The core duo expanded to a five-piece and then banged out nearly a year of touring together after Curiosity, and it seems that these dudes have gotten confident in their songwriting and found their groove.
“The Amazing Heart Attack” kicks the album off with an upbeat fierceness reminiscent to “The Hearse,” but served with a heavier dose of loose but confident riffage. Then they kick into straight-up rock and roll on “Bad Attitude,” lead by funky, driving bass and interspersed fuzzed-out guitar solos. The album’s lead single “Wizard Staff” sexes things up with a slowed down tempo, tantalizing lead guitar and spurts of saxophone solos doing a little dance in the sand. “Too Stoned” is another personal favorite, with the two minute intro of an early ’70s-esque blues-based psych jam before exploding back into one final minute of their signature dark power pop sound. »
– Travis Leipzig