Frischer Repress auf transparentem Vinyl.
Dancing Bear Release Information
Not many acts who continue for a few albums get a chance to go back and take care of what they might see in retrospect as mistakes or tentative starts — but there are always glorious exceptions. Thus the course of events that led to the Croatian surf-rock quartet The Bambi Molesters rerecording their 1997 debut Dumb Loud Hollow Twang in a ‘deluxe’ edition, with special guests, bonus tracks and more besides.
What might have seemed a quixotic exercise gets explained in the liner notes — the album’s original run, though popular in surf-rock obsessive circles, had not resulted in a reprint, while the group’s growing popularity resulted in further demand and attention for the start. The band themselves felt the debut was far too rushed — it was literally recorded in three hours as a one-take rip with instrument leakage and bad mixing ruining the impact — so with more time to spare and a chance to flesh out the sound, the result was 2003’s Deluxe.
The quartet’s command of the surf vernacular is unparalleled — guitarists Dalibor Pavičić and Dinko Tomljanović have the reverb down and rhythm section Lada and Hrvoje Zaborac shift between mania and moodout with ease. The guest musicians add just the right touches — keep an ear out for Neven Frangeš’s piano on the late-night menace of “Pearl Divin’”, as well as on the smoky Eurospy vibe of “Sun Stroke” and a trumpet/sax duo on a variety of songs adding some further sting.
If the overall effect is pleasantly reverential rather than a striking new reworking of surf and garage roots, it’s still a solid result that works beyond mere genre exercise. The bonus tracks are all covers, and winners they are — the Molesters collaborator in the Strange project, Chris Eckman, adds whispering menace to “Restless”, the album’s sole vocal track. Best song title of the bunch — “Beach Murder Mystery.” (Ned Ragget, All Music Guide, 2005)
Nothin’ dumb about this one! The Bambi Molesters hail from Sisak, Croatia, and they play a slightly dark brand of traditional instrumental surf music. They’re all about subtlety. Lead guitarist Dalibor Pavičić lays back in the mix, painting the sound with dreamy apparitions of melody and tone. How much of this was always part of their formula, and how much producer Phil Dirt created at the console, I don’t know, but either way they’re onto something good here.
All fifteen tunes were written by Pavičić and guitarist Dinko Tomljanović, and that’s surprising enough for such a young band, but on top of that, all fifteen are exquisitely crafted and fully realized. “Sun Stroke” is one of the most beautiful surf tunes of the year, filled with passion and power and delivered with a delicate touch. If you fancy a twist of spy in your surf, “Beach Murder Mystery” is the bomb. By the way, if you’re voting for great titles of the year, you may want to consider “Standing on the Nose in a Stylish Manner”, which also happens to be a killer surf tune. So add Croatia to your surf scene map and keep an eye on The Bambi Molesters, because they’ve officially taken their place in the book of who’s who. (DJ Johnson, Cosmik Debris, 1998)
A stunningly good set of tracks from the only surf band in Croatia. Their writing is melodic, pristine, well structured, and unique. I find their slower material to be the best, with its stellar beauty and delicate balance between lead and rhythm. I’ve been communicating with the band for about a year, and earlier this year, they asked me to produce their album. I was honored. They laid down 16 track ADAT in Croatia, and mailed them to me in the US. I mixed them here, and mastered them as well. Based on the DAT I’d received late last year, I was expecting good tracks. I was not prepared for just how good they’d turn out to be. This will be a classic of the future. (Phil Dirt, DJ KFJC)