When I was asked to review Bombus’ major label debut “The Poet and the Parrot”, I agreed, simply because I found the name intriguing. When I listened to it I was even MORE intrigued. This band is part Doom, part Stoner/Sludge, and VERY much old school Punk/NWOBHM. You may not think they go together, but actually, they do, and rather nicely.
The first thing that struck me was the production and sound on this album. It just feels like it’s coming off a record player in 1981, and that’s what makes it so cool. There’s a raw vibe there that money just can’t buy, and to an old metalhead like me, the sound really hits home. The second thing was the pacing of the songs. “Enter the Night” is doing 80 mph in a 55 zone right out of the gate, and title track “The Poet and the Parrot” has those chugging mid-tempo riffs that I love so much for about a minute before it, too, is off to the races. Bombus certainly plays it fast and loud.
“Liars” borrows from old Black Sabbath guitar-wise, and the slow crawl also makes it noteworthy. And then, just like that, we’re flying on the back of “A Safe Passage” to destinations unknown. The album’s shortest track, “Apparatus” is also one of the punkiest (is that even a word?!?), and again, we hear that old school influence, and can picture it being played in some old hall with graffiti on the walls and mohawks aplenty.
“Let Her Die” is the type of song you’d think would be the album closer, but one thing about Bombus, they don’t play by anyone’s rules. They’re just here to rock out, man. The twin guitar intro of “Master the Reality” makes it one of the record’s strongest tracks as well. Actual album closer “Into the Fire” is pretty much a paint-by-numbers Doom song, and is really the weakest song on an otherwise very entertaining album.
Overall, I enjoyed this release. Eight songs, no filler, no bullshit. It was rather refreshing to hear a band like this that really doesn’t care where they fit in the general scheme of things. They seem to be enjoying themselves just fine, and as I said earlier, the tone on this record really takes me back to my childhood, when I was discovering the early Iron Maiden and Judas Priest albums. That alone makes this one worth the price of admission. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Enter the Night”, “The Poet and the Parrot”, “A Safe Passage”, “Master the Reality”