Listening to “Hawk Bones,” the newest single from Bambara, I can’t help but be reminded of the danse macabre: the infamous “dance of death” that served as a visual reminder of the inevitability of death for the folks living in plague-addled Europe during the late-Middle Ages. The message behind the memento mori might be the earliest historical example of what is commonly referred to as #yolo: sooner or later, we’re all gonna die, and if we’re lucky, we might be able to live on as skeletons, dance the farandole atop each other’s graves, and get our pustule-covered friends stoked for eternal damnation. Woo hoo! Bambara’s music throbs with this sinister excitement, evoking Swans circa Love of Life, with some traces of the The Jesus Lizard for added danceability. Periodically, the guitars sputter and burst, derailing the chugging beat; off in the distance, chimey synths strain to create some semblance of order. As vocalist Reid Bateh desperately pleads “Have you seen my baby?” in his Gira-esque baritone, you can feel the sonic space starting to cave in; the rafters are collapsing, and soon the skeletons will come a’prancing. Complete, utter anguish has never sounded this good.
• Bambara: http://bambara.bandcamp.com