February 20, 2013

EP: Bam! Bam! - Golden Haze 2

Two ladies from Oakland giving pop a grown up edge on their most recent EP. 

Last fall, Zola and Chloe of Bam! Bam! reached out to me about doing an in studio at my school's radio station (hey WMUC!). I usually just glance over emails from bands, but Bam! Bam! jumped out at me when they described themselves as "girly indie pop" who had played with the likes of Shonen Knife and Calvin Johnson (who will come up again later). Beyond that description, I was instantly taken with their spunky fusion of pop and garage using just guitar and drums on songs such as "Hi Fi Window" and "Why I Had to Go" (which can be heard on their first seven inch, Let it Go). I was able to have Zola and Chloe play at our station in October and, as expected, they were awesome (if I remember correctly, I was dancing alone in the control room while they were playing). I hadn't heard much from them since due to their residency on the West Coast, so I was thrilled when I found out that they very recently came out with a new seven inch, titled Golden Haze 2, on Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records.

Golden Haze 2 shows unbelievable strides from Bam! Bam!'s previous musical efforts. I loved Let it Go for its updated take on sixties girl groups (Why I Had to Go") and its fast-paced, not-giving-a-shit attitude ("Hi Fi Window"). But Golden Haze 2 shows Zola and Chloe experimenting with more complex sounds to delightful results. The EP opens with the track "Golden Haze", which is reminiscent of the Runaway's "Cherrybomb" and sounds like it should be the soundtrack to an old western featuring a badass girl gang. "Golden Haze" makes a seamless transition into the less intimidating "Something Awful", which could be one of the sweetest love songs I've heard recently with lines such as "Darling you can take me any where you want/Waiting in line at the DMV has never been more exciting." The B side features songs "Out the Window", which sounds like a rounger homage to the indie pop of days past, and "Medicine", which features an echoing by none other than Calvin Johnson himself. I know it's only February, but Golden Haze 2 is already one of my favorite releases of this year.

Order Bam!Bam!'s Golden Haze 2 7" here.

Written by Emily Thompson