Album Reviews

Wampire – Bazaar

(Polyvinyl Records)

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31ZE6RjgaPLThe mark of any good band, or any creative artist for that matter, is the natural ability to keep the people guessing. Such is the case when considering the sonic constructions of duo-turned-quintet Wampire who have emerged from the same off-center Portland, Oregon scene that’s produced contemporaries like STRFKR, YACHT, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

Their latest LP, Bazaar, is the band’s strongest effort to date with a compliment of riotous and pensive tracks that work in different lush, psych-rock elements. Opener “The Amazing Heart Attack” kicks in with otherworldly cackles before a fuzz rock bludgeoning paired with creeping keys. Thus bleeding into “Bad Attitude” which is an atypical mean streets rollicking burner tailor made for sweaty rock hall moshing.

Wampire then mindfully segue into jazzier territory with the pop jangle of “Fly On The Wall” and the triple tempo back steps of “Wizard Staff”, “Too Stoned”, and “Millennials” which highlight the band’s expansive instrumentals. Album highlight “Sticking Out” evokes the best of the band’s pop sensibilities before the tempo is ratcheted back down again for “Life of Luxury” and trippy closer “People of Earth”.

With Bazaar, Wampire have managed to establish themselves as another legitimate force in the over-saturated psych market with their inspired approach and deftness in adding in rich outside elements without overselling them.

– Michael Mehalick

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