Release Date: Nov 18, 2016
Record label: Moshi Moshi Records
In retrospect, if February’s A Season In Hull seemed anything less than successful, it might have been because it failed to capture something fundamental about The Wave Pictures‘ sound. The songs may have been recorded around a single microphone, but even this approach lacked the immediacy of the band’s live performances – witty, vital and electrifying – frequently captured so well throughout the trio’s increasingly large catalogue. Happily, from the off-kilter minor-key blues of Panama Hat, all fuzzy bass and lines about making “friends with my black and white cat, I never saw him take to someone new like that”, to the tense, thunderous Crazy Horse-isms of The Running Man, Bamboo Diner In The Rain plays to all the band’s strengths, making for their most satisfying album since 2012’s Long Black Cars.
“The kids don’t seem to fear the machines,” says Wave Pictures’ Dave Tattershall. “They happily switch on their computers and listen to robots singing. Well, one day those robots will rise up and kill us.” The Wave Pictures are keen to make it clear that they are the real deal, a blues-rock behemoth in a world of synthesised emotions. On this, their umpteenth album, they are beginning to sound as if the courage of their convictions has been matched by their output.
It’s been a busy couple of years for The Wave Pictures; so much so you’d be forgiven for not keeping track of all the band’s activities. Having showcased their grasp of garage-rock primitivism with the Billy Childish-produced Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon in early-2015, appeared as the backing-ensemble for Stanley Brinks on his charmingly eccentric My Ass album in late-2015 and taken a whimsical detour with the all-acoustic-one-microphone A Season In Hull LP earlier this year, the Wymeswold-birthed and now London-based trio have covered a lot of ground in a short space of time. Handily then, for those struggling to hold their pace, the newly-released Bamboo Diner In The Rain feels like a pseudo-summary of where they’ve been lately, with a few added twists.