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Bombadil’s All That the Rain Promises [7.5]

Posted on the 01 December 2011 by Thewildhoneypie @thewildhoneypie

bombadil cover art mres 1 BOMBADILS ALL THAT THE RAIN PROMISES [7.5]

Laundromat – Bombadil // Buy

A Question – Bombadil // Buy

Bombadil (@wearebombadil) was formed in 2005 at Duke University, so basic math suggests its members are (hopefully) over their horrible, awkward preteen/teen years. The level of tension and anxiety presented in their songs, though, is so expertly crafted that it’s difficult to imagine the tracks as anything but the musings of a hopelessly discomforted teen. The group’s new album, All That The Rain Promises, immediately begins with this slightly ill at ease feeling. The vocals are so upfront and raw in opener “I Will Wait”, it feels like an intrusion into the singer’s private thoughts – not to mention, the lyrics are essentially a prayer. While this tension is difficult to bear at times, the end result is truly very enjoyable.

Bombadil could easily be compared to folk-rock bands such as Blitzen Trapper and The Avett Brothers, but their sound and outlook are decidedly all their own. Truly excelling both rhythmically and lyrically, this band creates songs, such as “The Pony Express” and “Flour Water Sugar”, which demonstrate how tension can be shaped with unpredictable rhythms. The squirmiest moments, though, occur when conversation is injected into the music. This is certainly the case on songs such as “Leather Belt” and “A Question”, the latter of which reflects the uncomfortable scenario of telling someone you like them. The unknown response/reaction of the song’s subject makes the situation that much more uneasy for the listener. There’s uncertainty over whether to recoil for Stuart, or be proud of him for wearing his heart on his sleeve.

Bombadil aren’t solely relying on these creatively structured stories and rhythmic embellishments to fill out All That The Rain Promises. “Avery” is a shiningly beautiful track that focuses on finger picking brilliance from Daniel Michalak on guitar. While it may have been a risky decision to insert an instrumental track so early into the album, this brief, introspective, and familiar moment after the first four fervently distinctive songs is calming and effective. Further on into All That The Rain Promises, the bass guitar driven “One Whole Year” and the gentle “Short Side Of The Wall” are surprising gems that borrow more from rock and roll than the offbeat folk elements explored earlier.

The first time you listen to All That The Rain Promises, you may not fully enjoy what you hear, but it’s purely the result of a band masterfully capitalizing your innate fears of the unpredictable. After a few listens, once you know what to expect, all initial aversion melts away, and the band’s profound musical talent shines through.

74 BOMBADILS ALL THAT THE RAIN PROMISES [7.5]


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