The Bamboos: Fever In the Road
The Bamboos started in 2000 in Melbourne, Australia as a stripped-down instrumental lineup influenced by James Brown and The Meters. By 2004, they were working with disco/soul DJ Keb Darge and had caught the attention of UK indie label Tru Thoughts. By 2006, their single, “Step It Up,” off their debut album of the same title, was featured in episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Ugly Betty. Through many extensive lineup changes including growing into a formidable 9-piece act, which includes current vocalist Kylie Auldist, they continued to have many of their songs placed in movies and TV shows.
With all this history behind them, by the time they arrived at their latest release, Fever In the Road, their sound was solid and well-developed. The album is layered just right, peeling back and piling it on when the time is right. Auldist’s vocals can do breathy pop or breathless soul, often in the same song. Lance Ferguson’s simple, driving guitar riffs lend a playful element to songs like “Your Lovin’ Is Easy” and “Helpless Blues.” The ballad “Before I Go” has an anthemic quality to it, the Hammond organ creating a sense of substance and gravity reminiscent of the soul music that inspires the band today. “Jump My Train” is another throwback, a gritty, rocking and rolling number with Auldist belting out an Aretha-esque performance that gets into your soul and stays there. Every time you listen to the album, something new comes out. In the continuing evolution of The Bamboos, Fever In the Road is a milestone and a welcome addition to such a distinct and memorable sound.