I’m starting to fade. I’ve hit the dreaded Saturday afternoon slump but I’m too many cups of coffee in and it’s too late in the day for a nap. I need a little pick me up and what better idea than to find some new music to give me that kick in the butt that I need. I knew I needed something upbeat and fun so when I read the description of Bite Me Bambi’s sound as being “ska/pop/punk” and them being a 7-piece band, I knew this was the one. So, come on Bite Me Bambi, don’t let me down!
As soon as “Hot Lava” took over every single speaker in my house, I knew I was in love. The horns kick this EP off with a sense of fury without a sense of being frantic. As soon as the vocals came in, I fell even deeper in love. Sure, the easy comparisons would be Save Farris and The Interrupters but Bite Me Bambi instantly proved they are so much more than those obvious comparisons. There is definitely a pop element to this opening track but the horns keep it in the ska/ punk scene so easily. The smooth vocals lean towards a more pop styled track but, again, the perfect blend of all of these things makes this opening track from Bite Me Bambi a stellar track.
“Crazy” instantly reminded me of Reel Big Fish with a sound that instantly made me replace the snow falling outside with a southern California beach scene (if only in my mind). This track is so laid back that it’s hard to have any worry or anxiety even in the back of your head when listening. This was an instant favorite of mine and had me dancing around the house as my cats watched me with eyes of pure judgment. I knew I needed something upbeat and fun and I know this is only the second track, but Bite Me Bambi has already done everything I wanted from them and then some.
The beat quickens for “Strippers on a Sunday” and the vocals get a bit more of an edge to them. Those two factors made this song feel completely different than the previous tracks but it was still clearly that of Bite Me Bambi. There’s a little sense of Oi in this one that is absolutely infectious. Again, and I can not stress this enough, this song had transported me back to a couple of years ago when I was at the Back to the Beach festival on Huntington Beach. This track just has such a sunny California sound that, well, it has me a bit lost for words if you can’t tell.
“I Don’t Wanna Be” continues with that more edgy sound laid out in “Strippers on a Sunday” while really highlighting the vocals. I feel like the vocalist of this group has a sense of power and talent in her voice that is typically so lacking in the ska scene. Although I definitely fell in love with ska music because of the horns and the infectious beats, being a lyric lady, I’ve never been able to get past some of the more sub-par vocals that litter the scene. Thankfully, that’s not an issue when it comes to this band and the vocals almost steal the spotlight from the horns (in the best way possible).
Speaking of amazing vocals, the way they shift from an almost pop influence to a more jazzy and theatrical style for “This Love Is Dead” had me absolutely stunned and lost for words. This track is a whole different side of this band that I don’t think I was quite prepared for but welcomed with open arms. It’s still very ska/punk/pop but there’s just something a little dark and sinister about it that catapults it into a different genre somehow. The vocals had me captivated throughout this track and it wasn’t until the EP moved onto the final track that I was snapped out of my trance.
“Carried Away” closes out this all-too-quick EP with those California beach vibes that this band does so well. Fun, upbeat, energetic– you name it, this band nails it and this song is a perfect example of that. It was during this track that I was finally able to put my finger on why this band stands out so much to me (outside of the vocals). The way Bite Me Bambi mixes a sound that’s reminiscent of 2-tone ska with the more modern ska of today is apparent (but apparently not until you’ve wracked your brain for this thought). There’s something fresh and new about their sound but also something so familiar.
I don’t know if there will ever be another Back to the Beach Festival on Huntington Beach but, if there is, I will not be going unless these guys are on the bill and I will petition for that if I have to. What a great sound for a sleepy and snowy Saturday afternoon.
My Favorite Track(s): “Crazy”; “Carried Away”
For Fans Of: Dancing; Horns; An undeniable Southern California beach vibe
Dance-ability: 10 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats stared at me from the back of the couch
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 10 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 9 out of 10
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