Never before has Rolf Harris’ immortal catchphrase ‘Can you guess what it is yet?’ been more appropriate to illustrate an album; Og’s Bunkadoo Band have finally tied a noose around the neck of their unique blend of time changes, awkward tunings, genius and madness as featured in their live performances and burned them onto compact disc. But quite how to describe such a blend is pure mystery - are Og’s Bunkadoo Band post-rock or free-jazz? Are they art-rock or just taking the piss? The band will most likely tell you they are all of these, and yet not – just to be different from the crowd.
Essentially, Og’s Bunkadoo Band make Godspeed You! Black Emperor look like a group of industry puppets assembled by the sub-editors of Smash Hits. Anyone after three-minute pop songs might as well check out the Slint section for all Og’s are concerned. ‘Jim Carey’ is a hypnotic map of spiralling six-string contours and jazz rhythms, while the mystifyingly-titled ‘The boy without a fairy in a jigsaw universe saw the light thicken and the crow make wing in the rooky wood’ sounds pretty much as left-field as you might expect.
If bands as disparate as Mogwai and At The Drive-In make you balk then the virtuosity and baffling musicianship on 'Camberwick Tock' and 'The Reckoning On Boromir' is unlikely to win you over. On the other hand, if 35-minute prog-rock epics are just what you're looking for as a stocking filler this yuletide, then 'Adverse Camber' will draw sighs of satisfaction.
Will Og’s Bunkadoo Band lead the popularisation of free-jazz-metal in an alternative market becoming increasingly saturated with macho retro-rock? The sensible money is on a distinct ‘No’. But then, when did sales figures ever take quality into consideration?
7Andy Robbins's Score