The Wave Pictures meant for their latest album Bamboo Diner in The Rain to be a booze-soaked, bluesy love letter to guitar music. In some ways, they’ve succeeded. Bamboo Diner in The Rain is certainly blues heavy, and there is no trace of the synthesizers and robotics the band were so keen to avoid. Whether or not it’s booze-soaked only the band can say for sure, but on the surface it seems The Wave Pictures have fulfilled their aims. With that in mind, it’s a shame that the record does not feel like a triumph.
Blues fans will appreciate the laid-back “Hot Little Hand” and “HD Rider”, with their slow percussion and swampy riffs, but the tracks might struggle to make converts of those not already interested in the style. Strictly speaking The Wave Pictures consider themselves an indie rock band, but with no indie influences and a heavy blues bent it’s difficult to place them in the genre. In his summary of the album, The Wave Pictures’ front man Dave Tattersall bemoans the fact that “these days the kids like their music to be made by machines, even when it pretends otherwise,” and goes on to declare his band are the soundtrack of the resistance. Bamboo Diner in the Rain is clearly a deeply personal album with its sights set on bringing something authentic to the table, but no musician has ever got the youth onside by telling them that what they like is wrong.
Outside of the catch-all group routinely dismissed as “kids these days” – who, shockingly, have varied tastes and interests just like everybody else – the album might find a home with fans of psychedelic classic rock. “Newcastle Rain” and “Panama Hat”s hazy, Led Zeppelin inspired grooves seem the natural drawcards for that area. For something more downtempo, there is always the acoustic fingerpicking instrumentals “Bamboo Diner Rag” and “Meeting Simon at the Airport”. These songs might not be the revolution that Dave Tattersall had hoped for, but that isn’t to say they won’t appeal to the right audience.
Release: 11th November 2016, Moshi Moshi Records