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Album Review: Bom Tugangu - Needle Points

Album Review: Bom Tugangu - Needle Points

Needle Points is a band from an alternate universe in which the 70’s never ended. They’re not so much reminiscent of groups like Zeppelin and The Who as just sounding like their natural progression. The band’s debut release Bom Tugangu is the kind of music you would play at barbeques of days past - the sort involving El Caminos and at least one American flag bikini top. And despite that fact, the album makes absolutely no effort to put on airs or to qualify itself as anything beyond straight, dirty rock; there’s a certain cleverness at play here.

One could very easily call Needle Points unoriginal, and they would technically be accurate. But what needs to be understood is that assertion would be preceded by the phrase “refreshingly.” We’re living in a period where every band has to push the envelope in some way, and it’s honestly great to see one leave the envelope alone and focus on the craft itself. All too often albums feel the need to be an experimental post-something with elements of some type of other genre. But the energy that any other band would put towards rockin’ differently; Needle Points puts towards rocking better. Each song is positively thick with instrumental content. The guitar alternatively echoes and howls. The bass line swells and breaks with an almost oceanic quality. Collie Halloways vocals are potent yet understated. Even between the immediate interchange of songs like “Cocoanut” and “Biting At The Rose,” there’s a monumental amount of range on display. And it never seems to feel any pressure to be angst-ridden or deconstructive or even particularly cool; it’s just upbeat, straightforward rock ‘n’ roll - the kind that really earns that “n” in the title.

And these aren’t just kind words of consolation for a dopey band. Needle Points knows exactly what it’s doing, and go about it with an understated wink. Listen to Bom Tugangu enough, and you really start to hear the tongue in their collective cheek. Guitar riffs sound a little too close to something out of a Deep Purple song to be accidental (particularly in “Child Is Wild”), and are entirely too intricately constructed to be considered derivative. Eventually, the whole endeavor starts to very much sound like a loving tribute/send-up to the foundations of modern music; evocative enough to be reminiscent, but building off of that enough to be original. Needle Points is, at the end of the day, a band with the confidence to showcase its originality within the confines of the subtext. - Daniel Ludwig

Published: December 27, 2013 |

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