Swarm - 2023 Reissue

Image of Bambara - Swarm - 2023 Reissue
Record Label
Wharf Cat

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Upon ‘Swarm’’s 2016 release, Brooklyn-based Bambara had been honing their noise-rock brutalism since forming in Athens, Georgia in 2009. On ‘Swarm’, their second full-length, the band began to pull their approach into sharp focus, and the result was a foundational triumph.

After the pure noise experimentation of their 2013 debut, ‘Dreamviolence’, here the band began to develop many of their later trademarks. Marrying the maniacal ravings of The Birthday Party and the brutality of early Swans with the tangled roots-punk of The Gun Club, the spotlight started to fall on vocalist / guitarist Reid Bateh’s lyrics as well as the ‘Spaghetti western’ atmospherics that would come to the fore to such effect on later releases such as ‘Shadow On Everything’ and ‘Stray’.

For fans of Bambara’s visceral and pummelling performances, which led to extensive touring opportunities along rising star contemporaries such as Gilla Band, Algiers, and IDLES, before earning the band their own headlining slot on multiple international tours, ‘Swarm’ will serve as a sort of missing link. Now, for the first time ever, live-set favourites such as the brooding ‘An Ill Son’, the flawlessly dynamic ‘Black’, and the pop-snarled ‘All the Ugly Things’ can be listened to at a level of audio fidelity on par with the band’s later recordings.

Tiny Mix Tapes praised ‘Dreamviolence’, the band’s first LP, by saying that “complete, utter anguish has never sounded this good.” ‘Swarm’ made it sound even better. With these 12 songs, Bambara proved that sometimes the only way to confront a fucked-up world is to sink to its level. As Henry Rollins succinctly summed it up at the time, this is a “REALLY cool record.”

“‘Swarm’... is a beautifully dynamic nightmare.” – NPR

“Since 2008, Bambara have reined nigh-unintelligible noise into something more artfully restrained, but the wildness remains intact.” - Pitchfork

“Bambara hail from Athens, Georgia, famously home to REM and The B-52’s, but what they do is far noisier, angrier, scarier. They sound like a band always on the lookout for something bigger.” - The Quietus

“Bambara write chaotic songs held together with formless washes of noise and anxious vocal drones, crafting pallid but vibrant pieces that thrashed with... mutant energy.” - VICE


Clearing Out The Weeds
Her Sister Touya
An Ill Son
Like Waves
I Don’t Mind
Filled Up With Night
It’s Nothing
All The Ugly Things
I Can’t Recall
In Bars
As Her

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