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Reviewed by Darryl Kirk

Bonfire Baby EP: Self-titled EP

Reviewed by Darryl Kirk

Bonfire Baby EP: Self-titled EP

Even describing themselves as rock/soul/blues/country/pop is deceptive of Bonfire Baby in some ways. There are all those elements but beyond that are other influences, perhaps jazz and indie rock should also be added. First track La Nina is a crunchy guitar, bass and drums workout, almost classical in its construction with elements of Los Lobos style guitar work, think Tex-Mex with the Kiwi crunch of David Kilgour. This EP has a consistent set of surprises in store, the mix-up of stylistic gear changes giving you a journey on the same road but with different scenery. A well-built set, they have a clarity and synergy which is remarkable. Tom Irvine on guitar, Ben Campbell percussion and sax, Matt Shanks on bass, Sophia Fa’Alogo on vocals and Neill McCulloch on drums form one of those bands which make you think they are too clever by half, but in a good way. Dirty Skirt Blues starts with a cunning guitar blues work out that morphs into a Steely Dan-style groove shunting the sax into centre stage. The songs are well thought out, to the point that in a couple of cases I feel they should have been a shade longer. Finisher Turn My Head has some glorious guitar work in the vein of Buffalo Tom or Dinosaur Jr, and let’s be fair, the rhythm section more than hold up their end. That said, across the album Fa’Alogo’s vocals, like the deft touches of saxophone, hit just the right places to lift this work a cut above.