The Bomboras

Swingin' Singles!

The Bomboras - Swingin' Singles! ©1996 Dionysus
1. Forbidden Planet
2. Moon Probe
3. Time Bomb
4. Surfin' Bull
5. Last Call
6. Drag Strip Tease
7. Chunky
8. Outlaw
9. Twice Pipes
10. The Clutch
11. Rodan
12. Lil' Drummer Boy
13. Tube City
14. Slingshot
15. Skater Dater

The retro surf thing of the mid 90s was a mixed blessing, as is the case whenever any retro thing becomes big. A few great bands surface as well as a heap of mediocre or worse ones. In my opinion The Bomboras were one of the best ones to have popped up during the mid 90s. Their unfortunately short career saw them release three full-length studio albums, a live album (which also includes a limited studio recorded 10") and a fair amount of 7"s. This album, as the title implies, compiles all of their 7"s up to that point, plus throws in a few extra tracks.

But what did Bomboras have that your average surfrock band lacked? They were talented - nothing particularly special there really - but they also rocked, which is something a lot of bands forgot about in their struggles to show off their musicianship. Their recordings feel very lively, never having that overproduced feel that is part of the downfall of lesser bands such as Euroboys and Satan's Pilgrims.

How's the music then? Well, quite typical instrumental rock, bringing to mind ol' cozy guitar slinging bands like Dick Dale and his Del-Tones, Kingsmen and even newer bands such as Los Straitjackets or a rawer, less geeky Man...or Astro-Man? While there isn't much originality to be found, unless you count using an organ as a leadinstrument in some of the tracks, these guys know what they're doing, and they do it well. To mix things up a little bit, "Drag Strip Tease" has some fun bratty vocals in it and "Rodan" has some really screwed up laughing running through its entire duration, which is either fun or really annoying, depending on your view. Amongst the excellent self-composed tracks, there is also a fair share of standards thrown in, like the somewhat annoying Del-tones like approach to "Lil' Drummer Boy" and the awesome Crossfires tune "Chunky". The track "Outlaw" seems to have some strong Link Wray influences in it as well, which certainly is no bad thing. They never really seem stuck in a rut, but rather manage to keep all their song distinct, which can often be an important factor with music like this.

Some might have a problem with the decidedly lo-fi production, but I tend to love that kinda thing in my rock'n'roll. If you listen to bands like The Mummies, Oblivians, Chrome Cranks, Dead Moon, or even Darkthrone, you'll certainly have no problem with this. Just be aware that it tends to be a bit muddy. Unfortunately the CD only lasts thirty-five minutes and there are definitely some tracks I could do without, thus this "could've been a classic" album does falter a bit with "Moon Probe", "Lil' Drummer Boy" and "Slingshot" being the offendors. Despite these shortcomings, I still consider this to be one of the best surfrock albums of the 90s, at least that I've been lucky enough to hear. It's a shame they broke up, as their live show was supposedly quite an experience.

Review by Řystein H-O

Review date: 02/2002

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