Saturday, 15 July 2017

THE TAMBO RAYS – EP REVIEW

The Tambo Rays – Recharge EP (OIM Records) 
The Tambo Rays - Recharge EP

Release Date: 17th July 2017

I must admit that it was the ‘so bad it’s good’ press photo that piqued my interest in Oakland five piece the Tambo Rays but then their infectious indie-pop took hold. This new EP by the quintet kicks off with ‘Yes And No’, a song with all the perky energy of ‘Hey Mickey’ but the brattish sneer of Shampoo and Brassy – all good things in my book in case you were wondering. ‘Always Down’ follows with a more mature vibe as the choppy guitars and undulating synths bring to mind the likes of Years and Years or Clear Bandit but with that unmistakable pop vocal courtesy of Sara DaMert.

On ‘Wrong Turn’, the Tambo Rays hit pop gold and it’s on this tune that you realise just how ripe for remixing these guys are. That’s not say the staccato strings and fists in the air electro chorus aren’t powerful enough on their own but there are so many strands you could pull at to create songs going off at different angles that it’s hard to resist the urge. There’s a more 80s rock-pop feel to ‘Nothing To Lose’ and the waterfall guitar notes feel like they’ve travelled in time just for this song, still wearing wrap around shades.

The EP climaxes on ‘Get It Right Now’ as a clear indication that the band know how to build to something special as the infectious keyboard melody hooks under your skin and DaMert’s vocal bounces around like a pre-teen on Christmas morning. There’s a subtly assured swagger about the chorus that knows this song is about to kick the party up to the next level but doesn’t want or need to big deal about it. So, great songs, infectious hooks and a focus on having a good time rather than feeding their egos – that seems like a pretty complete package to me.


Live Dates:

21st July – The Night Light, Oakland

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