The Bamboozled (inspired by a film by Spike Lee and a Frank Zappa’s song) is a “vintage” project born from the minds of its six members during 2008. The band’s rhythm section consists of drummer David Bozza and bassist Marcello Amore. The guitars, previously handled by Roberto Ricci, are now executed by the legendary Francesco Bottai. Lorenzo Santi takes care of the keyboards, while the vocals are entrusted to Alessio “Ultimarata” Colosi and Luciana Camarda. After a series of performances on big stages such as Fabbrica Europa at the Stazione Leopolda in Florence, the Auditorium Flog, Piazza San Giovanni in Rome, Campo Volo in Reggio Emilia, shared with Bandabardò, the Bamboozled have now released their album “Bamboogia”.
I’ve been listening to this for about a week and I’m glad to have it in my collection. Drawing from rock, Americana and blues among other little nuances the Bamboozled have created an extraordinary body of work with “Bamboogia”. From the crunching opener, “Open the Door Intro”, to the deep and moving “Open The Door” closer, Bamboozled’s songwriting and performances feel inspired and passionate.
It’s obvious that “Bamboogia” is unlikely to storm the charts, with rock giving way to automated pop, but fans of classic rock and just plain great music will be fortunate to discover this. Back in the day when bands were allowed (by their record companies) to develop their sound over the course of a few albums, greatness was often born. That is the case here. “Bamboogia” marks their peak creativity, and finds Bamboozled calmly enjoying the view from the top.
The band performs with both solid raw texture and crystal clear sophistication – plus the smart, tuneful rock songs move in crescendos fueled by superb keyboards, clockwork rhythms, dynamic guitar solos and high-powered vocals. Song highlights include the smoldering funky “Crazy Night”, the slow-burning “Brighton”, “Smile” and then “Open The Door” which steadily barrels ahead and goes straight for the throat, with its rock sensibility and superb lead guitar interludes. Every song is a winner, and several are absolutely breathtaking.
The Bamboozled’s songs grab you with their tunefulness and hooks instantaneously, and their ability to make songwriting seem so effortless is almost unrivaled. The icing on the cake, though, is the heartfelt vocals and increasingly sophisticated lyrics that range from moving to passionate and even sublime. This is one of those rock albums that will age very gracefully, mainly because it has a strong sense of song craft and a fluid instrumental style. There’s nothing revolutionary going on here: just ten really great songs, ranging between subtle beauty and hard-charging power. Could you really ask for more from any rock band?