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Bambara [small room]

Friday, March 13
Show | 9pm // Doors | 8pm
$12

Bambara’s post-punk has always had a sleek sort of menace to it, a taut rhythm section wrapped in psychedelic noise. It’s mesmerizing to listen to, and seeing the band live is an experience wrought from sharp curves and frontman Reid Bateh’s rapturous baritone.
NPR
There’s no end to the malevolence, from early Swans’ back-basement seething to the dark triumphalism of stadium- goth, but– Georgia boys that [they] are– there’s a thick streak of black-of-night country swirling around in the tempest, too.
Pitchfork
Bambara write chaotic songs held together with formless washes of noise and anxious vocal drones, crafting pallid but vibrant pieces that thrashed with…mutant energy.
VICE
Shadow On Everything is one of the year’s most gripping listens.
Bandcamp
Bambara hail from Athens, Georgia, famously home to REM and The B-52’s, but what they do is far noisier, angrier, scarier. They sound like a band always on the lookout for something bigger
The Quietus
Founded in Athens, Georgia by twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh, and bassist William Brookshire, Bambara have been steadily attracting attention since the release of their 2013 debut. Earning praise from places
like Pitchfork, NPR, VICE, Bandcamp, Spin, DIY, BrooklynVegan and The Quietus, and touring non-stop in the US and Europe with like-minded artists like IDLES, METZ, Girl Band and Daughters, the band released their most celebrated album to date in 2018 with Shadow On Everything, a release that NPR dubbed a “mesmerizing western, gothic opus.” Today, Bambara are announcing their follow up Stray (due out via Wharf Cat on February 14th, 2020), with the premiere of the album’s first single “Serafina” on the FADER.
A thunderous squall of a song, “Serafina” provides an arresting introduction to the album. Channelling the anarchic energy of The Birthday Party and Gun Club, in combination with Reid Blateh’s dramatic lyrical style the track imbues the story of a pair suburban misfits with apocalyptic weight. Bambara’s rhythm section rattles and bursts behind a frantic descending guitar lead as Reid, in a fraying baritone, weaves a tale set in his home state of Georgia that acknowledges the history of the place with subtle Civil War allusions, while conjuring an immediate atmosphere of backwoods unease. As Reid tells to FADER, it’s a song built to communicate an unhinged energy.
“Stray is a death-obsessed album,” says Reid. “Most of the songs are about different characters’ futile attempts at living meaningful lives under the weight of imminent annihilation. I wanted “Serafina” to feel different. I wanted the song to radiate a sort of wild-eyed hope. A youthful disregard for death itself. Serafina and Sadie live exactly how they want to live, exploring their love for one another before a backdrop of flames. The knowledge of their own mortality takes nothing from their enthusiasm for life. If anything, they see it as a challenge they might one day overcome together. When they say, “We’ll never die” I want it to feel like they might actually have a shot.”
Bambara are embarking on a UK tour that begins in Bristol at the Simple Things Festival on October 19th. Additionally, they are today announcing a Brooklyn show at St. Vitus on November 8th and a full US tour in support of the album to take place in 2020. Full details can be found below.
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One thing you won’t be able to avoid on Bambara’s Stray is death. It’s everywhere and inescapable, abstract and personified. Death, however, won’t be the first thing that strikes you about the group’s fourth album. That instead will
be its pulverising soundscape; by turns, vast, atmospheric, cool, broiling and at times – as on stand out tracks like “Sing Me To The Street” and “Serafina” – simply overwhelming
The album began when the band locked themselves in their windowless Brooklyn basement