Guitarist Matt Davis (Gersey) has crafted an understated yet largely rewarding album with Bombazine Black’s second release, Motion Picture. Recorded in Paris, LA and Melbourne, with different musicians in each location, there’s nevertheless a cohesive feel to these patient, evocative instrumentals.
The opening quartet of tunes is certainly the strongest part. ‘Annelets’ sets the scene with its leisurely interweave of vibraphone and organ among the standard guitars-drums-bass set-up. ‘The New Ruse’ shines brightly by virtue of its poppy demeanour, contrasting with the moodier hues demonstrated elsewhere. It’s followed by my personal favourite, ‘Montmartre’, where the glowering slow-burn wouldn’t feel out of place on a Mogwai album. And ‘Dark Kellys’ feels like ‘Montmartre part 2’, akin to the preceding song but angrier.
After the brief, pretty ‘Roosevelt’, the final pair of tunes, for me, sees Bombazine Black come undone. Long and meandering, there’s little point of focus across ‘The Bel Esprit’ and especially the 12-minute ‘Springheel Sunset’. The instruments pile up, including lots more piano, vibraphone and trumpet, but it all feels like its overcompensating for the lack of strong melodies and atmosphere that are found in abundance elsewhere.
In the first half of this Motion Picture there’s plenty to enjoy, but don’t worry too much about sticking around until the credits roll.
by Tim Clarke