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Seks Bomba – Operation B.O.M.B.A.

July 27, 2011 2 comments

Ya Ya Records, 1999

I’m an absolute sucker for James Bond films. If they’re on the tube and I’ve got some time to kill (or not), I will watch whatever daring episode Bond finds himself in no matter what cheeky humor is going on amidst the gunfire. I know that after Sean Connery left the series there was this big hullabaloo over the merits of Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and some guy named George Lazenby. I thought Pierce Brosnan was okay, even if the movies were much too sheen. Thankfully Daniel Craig rekindled some of the grittiness aspect of the films and, thus, my interest. Therefore, any record that has this fetching of a cover will automatically get some money thrown at it on my behalf. Plus, and I wasn’t sure if it was for real, but the record hints at being a soundtrack for a film. I’m not so sure if I’ve heard of a movie entitled “Operation B.O.M.B.A.” (even if I wish there was), but who cares?! I figured this was going to be good.

Seks Bomba were a band out of Boston, surprise, that specialized in surf and lounge music. Boston is certainly more known for its garage rock and pop, so it’s nice to see that there was a little variety in the scene. “Operation B.O.M.B.A.” does showcase the talents of the band along the lines of a soundtrack, even if it would be hard to gather any sort of continuous plot line from the song titles. Regardless, the whole album an invigoratingly entertaining spree of music.

One could say that Seks Bomba opted to show three sides of themselves. The first, most obvious side is their surf rock affection. “Jet City” opens the album alternates between a frenzied cacophony of organ and drums and a cool, pensive surf style. “Klown Car” sounds like “Jet City” ignited, where it doesn’t opt to cool off at any point during its nearly two minute tenure.  The last track on the record, the double agent of “Seks Bomba Theme, pt. 1-2”, alters between a peaceful accordion introduction and a rousing surf track that befits the band well as its theme.  If you’re looking for some good modern surf music Seks Bomba know how to do it right.

There is also a lot of swing going on throughout the record, including a bouncy “The Right Track” sung by the very crisp, strong vocals of Chris Cote. He gives off a sound that one could easily mistake as being from those days of fedoras and speakeasies, or at least, the type we have seen in the movies anyway. “Bright Lights and You, Girl” is even better with its tone variation between tense emotion and splashy love song. Cote sounds like a guy that could be depressed late night on the strip or skipping through the slot machines as he passionately finishes up the song with one last round of the chorus.

While Seks Bomba has a lot of dazzle with its surf and swing songs, it is their lounge act that transitions each number quite smoothly. “Theme from ‘Mondo Edgar'” and “Rum Holiday” are typical lounge instrumentals, where the latter makes one feel that they’re vacationing on a secluded beach somewhere with drink service.  Seks Bomba’s chippy cover of Burt Bacharach’s “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” has all the cute aspects of the original, except this time Dionne Warwick’s vocals are replaced with what sounds like a distorted guitar.  Those classic “woah woah woahs” and “bah bah bahs” are all there, though.

But oh man, the BEST track on the record is easily the surf force that is “Main Title & Love Theme From ‘Satan’s Shriners'”. It is an absolute tear through a rapid clashing of drums, organ and guitar.  After about a minute and a half it comes to an abrupt halt with some eastern-sounding vocals, only to conclude in a blitz.  Although the following song of “Last Call” (a live, raspy and rambling track) could be deemed as the only dud on the record, the energy buzz from “Shriners” carries the listener on for a few tunes until the end of the record.

Check out everything you need to know and hear on Seks Bomba’s comprehensive website!

Unfortunately, if you had noticed the past tense from earlier, Seks Bomba no longer exists. After releasing three records, playing 250 or so shows, and hanging up the instruments after a show in 2005, Seks Bomba are now part of the history of the Boston Scene. Even though they played a lot of music that was mostly popular in the sixties and seventies, Seks Bomba showed with their longevity that there’s still an audience for such genres.  Since I haven’t heard this kind of music since the last time I saw one of those James Bond films, I have to give this record one of my golden dollars due to the good vibe I got.

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