Hailing from Oamaru, The Bamboo is Elton Crane on vocals/guitar and Victoria van der Spek providing violin and keyboards. The musical palette is limited to just the three instruments, without any form of percussion, which is unusual and certainly brave. Crane’s vocals are very out front, but complementary to and closely tracked by van der Spek’s melodic work. The mostly personal themes are thrown against a picture of society at large. Lyrically and vocally, there are some clever moments, mostly hidden away from the central melodic thrust. I do feel that some form of percussion, however subtle could have helped colour some songs and give the strummed acoustic guitar some back-up, plus act as a counterpoint to allow extra space for rhythmic and melodic choices. Recorded at Soundplus in Oamaru, with Dan Lewis on engineering and mixing duties, the sound is crisp, confident, and well defined. Special mention must be made of the presentation of this CD. The simple cover is very well-designed with intriguing photographic choices that reveal little but invite you to imagine what might be within. All things considered, this is a record consistent in feel and atmosphere, which is that of a gloomy Sunday, sprinkled with an underlying optimism.