BOSNIAN RAINBOWS - S/T (Sargent House, 2013)
Review by Jason Lymangrover via All Music
With hopes of putting together a more collaborative project, the spearhead behind Mars Volta, Omar Rodríguez-Lopez, put his former group to rest in 2012. Recruiting the help of his bandmate Deantoni Parks, the experimental post-rockers take a backseat to vocalist Teri Gender Bender on their 2013 ode to goth rock and new wave, Bosnian Rainbows. In fact, without prior knowledge, there is very little evidence signifying these members' involvement. Instead, their 2013 effort sounds surprisingly like the best Siouxsie and the Banshees album in years. Gender Bender flips between gentle and commanding, or between mournful and scornful, on the flip of a dime, with a dynamic voice that shares uncanny similarities to the princess of goth in both timbre and acrobatic style. The production also sounds like Tinderbox/Peepshow-era Siouxsie, trapped in a lush Wall of Sound comprised of dreamy '80s sheen and retro keyboards courtesy of Nicci Kasper. Meanwhile, the chorus-splashed guitar of Rodriguez-Lopez and tasteful, open-aired rhythms of Parks are kept simple, but the two play with a post-punk angularity that makes things edgy and on the verge of becoming sinister. The real visionary of course is Gender Bender, who plays the role of the sad-eyed dominatrix, offering up thoughtful, abstract lyrics about lost loves (and hates) in her stormy melodies. The hooks are massive, and despite sounding very true to the retro sound, there are enough modern moments embedded in the minutiae to keep the album feeling fresh and appealing to people looking for an alternative to Santigold, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, or the Knife. Without a weak song on board, Bosnian Rainbows is a daring, excellent debut that is as compelling as it is ambitious.Various auction sites list this record for between $20-75... we have a VG copy on translucent green vinyl currently priced at $35.99 in the racks.