Big Bombo is a vehicle for the music of Aucklander Ivan De los Santos. By turns, anthemic, driving and swinging, the songs are drawn from a colourful pallet of sonic approaches. Spread across five tracks it works a rich vein of indie pop, driven by a crisp delivery from a focused rhythm section and pulled from the front by the guitars. It’s as if Prefab Sprout invited Johnny Marr over, only to have Kevin Shields crash the party. The vocals are right out front but without overbearing their musical setting.
Recorded at Show Pony and The Lab studios by Amos Clarke and Olly Harmer, the production has the right mix of grit and polish, the drums particularly well handled. Opener Revelations is a perfect slab of indie power pop. The Leftovers of a Song Inside Of You is a wide-ranging beast from its jittery opening riff to its blossoming shoegaze middle eight / lead section. Lyrically opaque at times, there are elements of self-doubt and the pursuit of perfect romantic situations. Closer m.a.v. is sung in Spanish, the lyrics from a poem by Argentinian writer Lucio Madariaga. A diverse and well crafted debut EP, the songs seem always on the move, drawing in new textures whether melodically or dynamically, while retaining their identity. Surely one of this year’s best local self-releases.