Spring kisses all my thoughts/ These strands of memories invading us throughout life.”
Bosnian Rainbows is like nothing else Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Teri Gender Bender have done in the past, but what would one expect but innovation and honest musical curiosity from the pair that brought us The Mars Volta and Le Butcherettes? Given the resurgence of 80s sounds it makes vaguely perfect sense that they’d run their sticky sonic fingers through the best recesses of that decade to scoop up music that makes the many imitators and style monkeys trolling the same era look as lazy and unoriginal as they are.
The band’s self-titled debut (released June 25 on the consistently fabulous Sargent House label) presents a sculpted, melodic side hitherto unheard by the frequently lacerating Bender and Rodríguez-López, the icy, artfully spiked music coming up against the warm skin and romantic growl of the lyrics and Bender’s intoxicating Siouxsie Sioux-esque vocals in a shivery, seductive way. Rodríguez-López lays down nicely serrated guitar with blasts of shimmering loveliness, his backing vocals offering a husky counterpoint to Bender’s emergent siren-crooner with echoes of Lenny Kaye and Patti Smith back in the day.
In fact, cool echoes abound on Bosnian Rainbows – early Simple Minds, Nina Hagen, the Siouxsie & The Banshees of Kaleidoscope and Ju Ju, David Sylvian/Japan, Grace Jones – but taken possession of by a charismatically tactile band eager to create intriguing, modern slanted songs that stick, right down to the occasional majestic chorus and forthright hook, much of the freewheeling squiggles and odd inflection curling like smoke on the edges rather than the main focus.
Bosnian Rainbows is rounded out by Deantoni Parks (drums, keyboards) and Nicci Kasper (synths, keyboards), and the collective noise they make hums with weird, highly contemporary energy, the glass and chrome 80s antecedents merely ingredients in their pleasantly vibrating crucible. Focused passion might be the best way to describe the overall vibe, the attention to detail and tight, inspired playing paying off track after track. The studio manifestation of this group makes one want to experience them in the flesh, if only to find out if the pheromones permeating this music are as real as they seem. While there is precedent, this is mostly about newness; history ever-entangled in Bosnian Rainbows’ roots but the ultimate bloom still a bud, pregnant with the promise of beauty, love and the awakening pain of the vine’s inevitable thorns.
Check out Dennis’ 2011 interview with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez here. And if you see this, Omar, the door is WIDE open for a new chat for the Impound. As the kids say, holla…