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The Crooked Debut Of...


Michele Bombatomica


Tannen Records

Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  

Read any guide to job interviews and you'll no doubt come across a sentence that reads something like "you only have one chance to make a first impression". I mention this because I'm not sure the opening bars of The Crooked Debut Of... are necessarily the best introductory guide to Michele Bombatomica. Obviously this is all down to personal taste but after just a few seconds of I'm All Right, I was thinking this was going to be too, well, good-time country rock or something for my liking. Or to put it in business terms, I'm sorry, Michele, but you haven't got the job!

Thankfully, however, I stayed with his Crooked Debut because although there's fun to be had, it probably owes more to Brecht than Ray Campi. Shot You Down, which follows I'm All Right, immediately blew away those first impressions as Bombatomica hollers over a slower, almost funereal beat that makes you want to nod your head along. Liar is next and it's corker as Bombatomica drawls "I'm a liar baby...tell me that you love me and burning with desire" before resorting to a spot of French, presumably to really turn on the charm. The Mariachi horns are a lovely touch, too.

Money Come And Money Goes is a more throwaway romp, but Bar is another highlight. It opens with some piano accordion playing, but if you think Bombatomica is setting the scene for some Parisian romance, you're mistaken because he suddenly starts yelling "I've waited for you in the barn, waited for you all night just let me wait in vain" like some madman. You understand straight away why she didn't show up. Imagine Tom Waits as a drunken, homeless person on the street corner and you'll have some idea what he sounds like. My wife, who likes Tom Waits, walked out of the room when the voice came in, but I think it's great!

All Gone Now is another with that funereal beat and ends with some great, almost demented sounding violins, before Nonsense To Sing Along opens with a more rockabilly style that Bombatomica later marries to that Brechtian influence. Not for the first time, David G Cox's excellent 2010 debut album springs to mind. Devil On My Back has a more furious beat whilst Never Return features some Hank Marvin-like guitar and is surely dying to be discovered by Quentin Tarantino. Flower Song For Barefoot Dancers opens with some guitar sounds that wouldn't sound of place on a Tinariwen album before things veer off in an almost psychedelic direction leaving the album to conclude with the cartoon horror of Zombie Love Song.

Admittedly none of this is going to change the world, but it does make it a more enjoyable place to be. And in Liar, there's at least one great track here.


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