Bombay Harambee

“We aim for arresting and literate post-punk. We hope to have achieved that.”

What a concise and truthful statement from Bombay Harambee regarding their mission. Often times you see a band attempt to summarize their intentions through what seems like streams of consciousness. But not the Little Rock, AR punk quartet. Things are immensely clear, enlightened even, and this is where their latest album, Goldmine, finds itself.

Album starter “Interval,” which we covered here, is the perfect kick in the teeth, and it’s hard to imagine another track bringing the behemoth of Goldmine to life. Without a doubt, the album is made up of narratives that are short stories bound together to say something bigger. The modern tale of “Bombed the Polygraph” features mysterious criminality not often seen in modern music, even punk, anymore. You get the sense that a high end bank robber just happened, and you’re witness to the interrogation.

Graphic novel stylized imagery, from Gustav Carlson, fits perfectly on the album, as it’s billed as 42 minutes of Western action. Evidenced within “Laughing,” as Alexander Jones sings “she found it better in the thick of it,” danger is yearned for in these scenes of modern punk rock noir. Even the seemingly braggadocios nature of “Dotted Line” finds joy in running from the establishment while avoiding signing your life away.

“Stringing Sentences” finds sweaty palms in a pensively brooding drive through the middle of the night. With nothing in site other than the occasional streetlight, aging is an accomplishment in this world. Bombay Harambee are clinical and systematic in their observations, and they seem to be content with analyzing an uncomfortable subject. As a town turns into a place with more apparitions than actual inhabitants on “Midtown,” they patiently document the results of a smaller town cracking that I know oh so well. The crumbling becomes worse, and there’s nothing you can do if you’re stuck other than hope someone shares the story.

With “Broken Hand,” Bombay Harambee are driving away from a massive wave that’s about to wreak havoc. By wave, we mean in a more metaphorical sense. They know the land and are on the run from something a lot more dangerous than themselves. At some point they appear to be taken over, so the album closer “WZTV Channel 5” just accepts its fate before reaching a fever pitch of reverb that flatlines.

Goldmine will be released this Friday, and it’s currently available for pre-order at the Max Recordings site. Joey Smith