The third full-length release from Croatia’s surf monsters, The Bambi Molesters, is everything I wanted it to be and a little bit more. I didn’t expect vocal tracks at all, let alone vocal tracks that maintain the spray and the salt of the waves. While some purists may consider these as intrusions, I find them exquisite. There are only a few of those, of course, as their bread and butter is and always has been instrumental surf music with a deliciously dangerous spy overtone. This is what we’ve come to expect from The Bambi Molesters and they don’t dissapoint.
The LP is crawling with intrigue, danger and atmosphere. Lead guitarist/songwriter Dalibor Pavicic’s melodies are often simpler than those on the their last album, Intensity, with the emphasis shifted more toward atmosphere and texture. Instead of solid soloing, Dalibor and Dinko Tomljanovic interweave guitar lines for a full, intricate soundscape. “Farewell Malasana” is exactly that kind of song, so moody, dark yet filled with mystique that it sounds like it could be Emma Peele’s funeral music. When they turn up the intensity, as they do in “Double Danger” and several other breathtakers, you feel the enemy agents closing in and your foot on the accelerator, oil and nails deploying behind your Jaguar as you make yet another narrow escape.
A few years ago there were a hundred bands playing spy/surf music and only about five playing it well. Now there are only a few left, and luckily The Bambi Molesters are among them. If you’ve gotta pare down, at least keep the best. They’re joined by several special guests, most notable among them Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of REM, but the band is the story and chapter three is a good one. (DJ Johnson, Cosmik Debris)