I know when some bands try to channel 90s rock sensibilities into their music, it can sometimes amount to a doorbell ditch prank. It's not often those same sounds kick down the door and take your entire family hostage. Bardo's Bardo is one of the coolest releases I've heard this year, if not for how it sounds than what it represents; some dudes getting together to rock out without all that jazz about "a personal journey" or "self-expression."
It's as simple as a dude on drums and a dude on guitar, which is what Chris Wright and Jonathan Lee Rodriguez are. They share vocal duties, and by that I mean they take turns screaming pissed-off lines like, "I'M THE ANTAGONIST," and, "I AM JUST A PAWN OF THE QUEEN." There's a bunch of influences at work here, dating as far back to the dark guitar chunks of Black Sabbath. More often the music shakes its head furiously at bands like Nirvana, the early works of Rob Zombie, Melvins, obviously, and several punk albums I bought in my youth that hold special meaning to me. You know the ones. Take for instance the opener entitled "The Antagonist" which sounds like a B-side of Nirvana you may have heard in the 90's. The vocals snarl as the guitars growl which forms a heavy dose of early 90's punk inspired grunge. "Ferryman" mixes it up a bit more. The singers vocal range goes from almost relaxed to screaming that reminded me of other contemporaries like Cloud Nothings. One of the highlights is "Out To Sea" which contains some of the best drumming and memorable riffs on the album.
Rock and roll sounds so clean nowadays. Maybe it's the proliferation of mainstream music, maybe it's me being elitist and maybe this Double Big Gulp is stunting my ability to write, but Bardo gives me hope. It’s dirty rock-and-roll, controlled the same way animal tamers whip their beasts. I don't even know what the hell they're saying sometimes and that doesn't matter; guitar and drums over orchestral arrangements with a bunch of "ethnic" instruments any day. In fact, I'm cutting this review short so you can begin listening.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook