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Bosnian Rainbows – Live at Clouds Hill

Clouds Hill

Bosnian Rainbows live at Clouds HillBosnian Rainbows is the recently-formed group of Omar Rodriguez-López from The Mars Volta, and supposedly a more pop-like approach to music than he did before. I haven’t encountered Bosnian Rainbows’ studio versions yet, so I was curious to what to expect of this live recording from a series of 10” vinyl documents by Clouds Hill studios in Hamburg.

What did I immediately hear? A record of powerful pop, energetic vocals and what sounds like a good live document. The band play very well together, and even though it is pop songs, it is easy to hear the kraut-prog influences. Not in a pompous way, as the songs are minimal and very much to the point. But still some of the structures and melodies have some of the sounds that can be linked back to the ’70s, but wrapped in a more modern sound image.

Some of the songs also strike me as less accessible for pop songs, and to me this always makes pop even more interesting. On a couple of occasions it is almost like Omar’s guitars and avant-garde drummer Deantoni Parks come out of sync on purpose, but come back together again for the verse. The record is varied, or the songs within themselves are varied; even a catchy tune like “I cry for you” has some exciting elements during the track. The vocals are good and strong, and Teri Gender Bender from Mexican garage punk act Le Butcherettes never falls out of tune, and has excellent timing.

All in all, if this this is a typical live day, they should be well worth the while to go to a gig. The only downside of the recording worth noting is that the last song was not completely recorded; apparently they ran out of tape (!). But then again, letting people stay hungry for more is always a good trick.

-Ronny Wærnes-

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