The Bamboos – Fever In The Road

The Bamboos are a bit of an oddity. They’re a retro soul band on high rotation on youth alternative radio, and one of the only bands that can convincingly play Splendour and Bluesfest in the same year. Not to mention that their live shows are pretty unbeatable. In terms of age appropriateness, they have a near universal appeal.

It wasn’t an overnight success by any means. Although they formed in 2000, they had a real “breakout” moment with their fifth studio album Medicine Man last year. Loaded with high-profile guests (Tim Rogers, Daniel Merriweather, Washington), it spawned the mega hit ‘I Got Burned’.

This time around, things are slightly different with just two vocalists heard on the album. Long time member Kylie Auldist holds down the grittier material, while relative new-comer Thompson takes the more subdued songs.

It’s still The Bamboos though, just with a more polished and hook-laden sound. The old school funk is still in place, complete with ‘60s throwback tracks like ‘Your Lovin’ Is Easy’ and the well placed bridges of ‘Helpless Blues’. Single ‘Avenger’ contains a killer hook beneath Ella Thompson’s smothered vocals, and the surprisingly melancholic record highlight ‘Killing Jar’ digs into the minor chords while a blues jam swells underneath.