Seks Bomba
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Seks Bomba

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


This is one of the most fun, most clever, and downright best CD's I've heard in a long time. I can't even begin to describe what this Boston band does. Let's say you took a big pan and threw in the Ventures, Burt Bacharach, Antonio Carlos Jobim, any number of late 60's East and West Coast rock bands, and maybe a little Tom Jones, and you've only begun to explain what's on this disc.

Describing some of the cuts... How bout a pop instrumental with surf guitar, a quote from "Day Tripper," and some trippy beatnik flute ("Bomba Au Go-Go"). Then there's the jazz-meets-blues-in-a-honky-tonk of "Happy Hour" with a swingin' vocal and guitar solo. The title cut is a pop tune of sorts. Gorgeous changes, killer singing, and an arpeggiated solo that breaks inti single-line rock. In a slightly off-kilter radio world, this would be number one on all charts next week.

"Love Me Pts. 1 & 2" is a crazy late-60's-style rocker mixed with a funny spoken middle that competes with some wah guitar, nasty organ, and a pumping rhythm section. "Casino Royale" sounds like Booker T. and the M.G.s mixing classical music with their normal sound. "Fresh Perked" is just what the title says: an instrumental with jazzy swing and country-styled guitars. And topping it off is an on-target cover of Jobim's "Agua De Beber" that's to kill for.

George Hall produces the band, plays guitar, and sings some. Chris Cote also sings and plays guitar. Lori Perkins handles flute and organ. Brett Campbell is the drummer, and Matt Silbert is the bassist. I don't usually mention all the players in a band in my reviews, but felt I should here. This band has such a unique and fresh outlook that I want to share them with everyone. This CD is as good and original as any major or minor release I've heard in a long time. Please, for your own good, check them out. Fans of good playing, cool melodies, and off-the-wall behavior will love this.

- John Heidt


FLAG WAVING: The members of the Boston band Seks Bomba once advertised their sound as "avant cheese." And that's pretty much what you get on the group's debut album, due May 18 from YaYa Records, the new imprint operated by the aforementioned Michael Neustadt.

We found ourselves captivated by Seks Bomba from the first track of the album, the surfoid instrumental "Jet City." But the quintet has more going for it than just some strong surf moves: There are elements of rockabilly in the twangy guitar work of George Hall and Chris Cote, more than a soupçon of neo-lounge in the keyboard stylings of Lori Perkins, and a strange backdated zest in Cote's polyester-pop vocals on numbers like "The Right Track (Baby)" and "Bright Lights And You, Girl."

The album also features droll but deadpan readings of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "Do You Know The Way To San Jose?," Lalo Schiffrin's "The Cat," and Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer's "It Had Better Be Tonight."

Given the groups unusual genetic cross-breeding, Seks Bomba has played on a variety of gigs. For a while, we were playing on a lot of surf bills," Hall says. The group has also been paired with Rockabilly artists like Ronnie Dawson and has done its share of lounge-music duty, though some martini-sippers may not always get the picture. "It was like, we would get up and we would rock," Hall says.

"The idea has always been to keep things stylistically open-ended," Hall notes. "People [in the band] come from wildy divergent backgrounds, and I tend to be a kind of a filter...We're all into all kinds of crazy albums."

Seks Bomba is also very apparently into movies: Track titles include such mythical film fare as "Theme From 'To Kill 89,'" "Theme From 'Mondo Edgar,'" and "Main Title And Love Theme From 'Satan's Shriners.'" (We have to catch up with that last flick at the drive-in.)

Hall--who cites Dick Hyman's "The Man From O.R.G.A.N." as a prime influence--explains, "There are a lot of instro bands out there...What Itry to do is make it a soundtrack thing--to serve some kind of a mental picture."

Seks Bomba has deep roots in the Boston music turf: Hall holds down a day job in the promotion department at Rounder Records in Cambridge, while Cote, a former partner in Rounder's Upstart Records imprint, does double duty as a member of the hard-rock fop unit the Upper Crust.

Together nearly four years, Seks Bomba--which also features drummer Brett Campbell and bassist Matt Silbert--continues to play semi-regular gigs at Boston's Lizard Lounge. Hall says he likes the joint because the group gets to play more than one set a night: "The second set gets a little chancey, indicative of beverages consumed."

The band will celebrate the release of its album with a June 18 gig at the Linwood in Boston. Seks Bomba will be paired at that gig with Auto 66, a combo featuring longtime Beantown writer Tris Lozaw.
- Chris Morris


There may not be a groovier band in Boston than Seks Bomba. The five piece has long been receiving accolades for their live shows, successfully integrating multiple musical interests. Which presents an immediate problem: how do you capture that energy and spontaneity in the relatively sterile environs of a recording studio? The answer apparently is to maintain your sense of humor. On their debut full length release, "Operation Bomba", Seks Bomba take the listener on a musical journey through surf, lounge and plain ole' rock music with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Styled as the fictitious soundtrack to the classic spy films of yesterday, "Operation Bomba" provides intelligent and well crafted tracks under such humorous monikers as "Theme From 'To Kill 89'" and "Main Title & Love Theme From Satan's Shriners". Not that the musicianship is anything to scoff at. Guitarist George Hall swings with equal parts Dick Dale and Charlie Hunter while vocalist Chris Cote's range ensures that these selections never fall into the campiness that too often pervades contemporary lounge music. The band even does a wonderfully weird instrumental take on the Burt Bacharach classic, "Do You Know The Way To San Jose" and provides a thoughtful "Last Call" warning towards the end of the album. If ever a record begged for the ring from a cold drink to mark its cover, it's "Operation Bomba". - Tom Kielty


Discography

Somewhere in This Town - Ya Ya Records, 2001
Operation B.O.M.B.A. - Ya Ya Records, 1999
Seks Bomba (7" single) 45rpm Vinyl - Dahlia Records, 1996
Vegas Swings - 2002 (Compilation)
50,000,000 Elves Fans Cant Be Wrong - Stereorefic, 2001 (Compilation)
That's New Pussycat! surftribute to Burt Bacharach - Omom 2000 (Compilation)
Frequent Hits - Vol 1 - www.mPulse.com, 2000 (Compilation)
A Place to Call Home - Reverse Curve Records, 1998 (Compilation)
Secret Agent S.O.U.N.D.S. - Dr. Dream Records, 1998 (Compilation)
Music Fest 98 - Tremont Brewery, 1998 (Compilation)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Seks Bomba is a Boston-based vocal and instro rock combo with a new disc to peddle, Somewhere In This Town (YaYa Records) and a top secret mission to... well, if we told you it wouldn't be a secret, would it?

What is known about this enigmatic unit has appeared in the form of a curious stream of press releases, CD reviews and other such (thoughtfully) recyclable effluvia. A quick wade through these materials would appear to mark the group as a sort of laboratory where elements of instrumental rock, cartoon jazz, and the occasional spy theme are fused with latin rhythms, classic pop moves and art damaged guitar stylings, which are then dragged kicking and screaming into a recombinant mutation that CMJ has termed "quite possibly the best among the new bands in their niche," adding that "they not only feature tight, hard-hitting musicianship but also swinging vocals from Chris Cote that are actually strong enough to rival those of Tom Jones."

The band's debut Operation B.O.M.B.A (YaYa) was described by the Boston Phoenix as "an exquisite collection of suspenseful slinkage, surfish polyesterism and crime-noir clatter." The band's new release has led Stuff@Night columnist Jonathan Perry to conclude that "remarkably, Somewhere In This Town goes that superb slice of aluminum one better. Everything, from the songwriting to the musicianship to the production is that much sharper."

From the action-packed instrumental hi-jinx of "Bomba Au Go-Go" to the neo-Bacharach pop of the title track, through the jazzy ADD-a-billy of "Happy Hour," the quasi-metal dance floor desperation of "Love Me" and the band's sincere, affecting take on the classic Jobim/De Moraes bossa "Agua De Beber," SEKS BOMBA boldly moves forward in 360 degrees.

To find out more about SEKS BOMBA, just log check out this site and join the legion of fans, enthusiasts, and... the occasional disappointed East European web surfer keying the word "Seks" in search of photographed images of unclad persons performing acts possibly banned by the League of Nations as early as 1922... that have made SEKS BOMBA known throughout the world as "a rock band with a website."