Bosnian Rainbows review by Bosnian Rainbows

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  • Released: Jun 28, 2013
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (23 votes)
Bosnian Rainbows: Bosnian Rainbows

Sound — 8
When Omar announced a hiatus for The Mars Volta it soon turned into the band completely dissolving. Omar began work on a solo project which grew into a full-fledged new band with collaborative effort from multiple members, which immediately set it apart from The Mars Volta. The band includes Teri Gender Bender (on vocals), Deantoni Parks (drums, keyboard), Nicci Kasper (synths, keyboards), and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (guitar, backing vocals, keyboard). In a lot of ways this is a significant departure from the sound of The Mars Volta, as Bosnian Rainbows incorporates modern elements (with a lot of synths and keyboards) and vintage recording techniques with a larger focus on songwriting. Teri Gender Bender is also the lead vocalist from the punk band, Le Butcherettes. While Omar has compared their sound to such varied artists as Led Zeppelin to Siouxsie And The Banshees, it most resembles something you might have expected to be released if Silversun Pickups and Jefferson Airplane formed a supergroup. Maybe with an '80s era Cyndi Lauper or Madonna on vocals. The entire album was recorded using only analog equipment and was mixed exclusively with analog equipment. There are 11 tracks with a total runtime of just a little under 50 minutes. The average song length is a lot more traditional than you would expect from Omar with the longest song clocking in at just 6 minutes and 53 seconds. The first two singles from the album were "Torn Maps" (January 25th) and then "Turtle Neck" (February 11th). Out of the gate, I was pleasantly surprised. I expected an over-indulgent guitar-fest full of Omar showing off his considerable skill, but instead I found some interesting songs, very textured, with some very solid vocals provided by the oddly named Teri Gender Bender. The songs definitely have a tendency to get into the realm of psych rock, but with better musicianship than the genre is known for. The album opens with the track "Eli," which has a kind of spacey industrial vibe going on and definitely pulled me in. "Dig Right in Me" has a bass line that really gets in your skull, especially mixed with melancholy vocals a la Teri and the weird almost atonal slow-motion arpeggios provided by Omar. The track "Torn Maps" reminds me of a David Bowie tune, but I could never place which song it reminded me of exactly. "Turtle Neck" has one of the weirdest vibes on the album, at times sounding like it should have been on the "Top Gun" soundtrack, and at others kind of has a garage rock thing going on. The album closes out with "Mother, Father, Set Us Free," which is largely carried by the bass line and drums and really gives the impression of the album slowing down in order to come to a stop while somehow keeping me hanging on to hear every last note.

Lyrics — 9
I had never heard of Teri Gender Bender's band, Le Butcherettes, before I began listening to this Bosnian Rainbows album, so I went back and checked out a few songs. Le Butcherettes is much more punk rock than Bosnian Rainbows, so you get to hear some interesting contrast. Teri definitely has some vocal chops, and really impressed me as you don't think of punk rock as producing great vocalists. As I had stated earlier in the review, at times her vocals remind me of '80s era Madonna or Cyndi Lauper at other times her vocals are more in line with what you hear with some of the more popular female fronted indie bands. Omar provides some backing vocals and it is definitely in good taste when he does, but kept fairly minimal. Overall, I was impressed with the vocals on the album. The lyrics seem to run the gamut around a lot of different subjects, and I found myself replaying songs a lot to work out all the lyrics. As a sample, here are some lyrics from the song "Torn Maps": "Can we just stop/ acting like we dont know/ eating up your lies/ throw them out tomorrow/can we hold hands/ I promise you that they are clean/ putting up a fight/ against these men that behind/ newspapers and networking/ against these men that hide behind us." Then there are some songs with more enigmatic lyrics, like from the single "Turtle Neck": "I don't know, turtleneck, where you've been all my life/ But I feel, turtleneck that you're leaving me aside/ I don't know, turtleneck, where you've been all my life/ But I feel, turtleneck, that you're leaving me aside." I haven't been able to figure that one out.

Overall Impression — 8
I know that a lot of people will not agree with me, but I honestly enjoyed this album more than anything ever done by The Mars Volta. Maybe I am still caught in the new phase with the album; I can't say for sure. I do know that if this is where new music is going, then I'm all in. This is a good come back to all those pessimists out there that say there is no good new music coming out these days. I hope everyone enjoys this album as much as I did.

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32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Pa, dje nadje nas, ba?
    stvarno, koji kurac?
    Been lucky enough to catch them live twice, and the first time especially was amazing, Omar thanked the whole crowd, and he and Terri even had a quick chat and a hug with my mate and I after...the album is great,and live they are even more funky and awesome! It's great to see Omar enjoying himself on stage again and Terri has unbelievable presence!
    Loved this album! I look forward to seeing them in San Francisco on Thursday. Very nice review
    I can't digg it, i'm really trying but i can't, i sounds like every 'indie' band from 2008
    kill it
    There is no denying the talent of Omar but I hear more bad than good in this project.
    very in depth there. glad you didn't write any real reviews.
    why the negativity thebigdirty716? kill it was just stating his opinion. he even prefaced his opinion with a declaration that he appreciates omar's talents. not everyone has to lap omar's ass. we're all from CA and USA, so lets exercise our rights to our own opinions here. he doesnt think BR is as good as TMV, hes entitled to his opinion as you are yours. so get off your high horse.
    "We are all from CA and USA." WTF?? That is possibly the most ignorant thing I've ever read on the internet. You know, both the internet and freedom exist outside of North America, right?? Plus, this website was originally from Russia, so I don't know why you would assume everyone here is American.
    so he's entitled to his opinion but i can't be entitled to mine that 'more bad than good' isn't that in depth?
    He didn't say it was in depth. It was just a simple little comment expressing a negative opinion. Get over it.
    " it was just a simple little comment expressing a negative opinion. Get over it" is exactly right. Me too.
    But I bet if he did, he'd probably explain it quite well, seeing as he didn't insult the musicians, and even started with a complement.
    It's funny that I like what I've heard of this way more than Noctourniquet, an album by a band that's right up my alley. Just goes to show that there's nothing wrong with a style change or going in a poppier/electronic direction; the key word there is 'direction', and it's good see Omar have some again.
    I thought Noctourniquet was a solid album, but I also thought you could hear what Omar talked about in some interviews that he was getting bored with it. I'm interested in everything this guy and his friends write/record, but a lot of it sounded like they were just going through the motions of what fans expect a Mars Volta album to be. BR, on the other hand.... I went to their Portland show last fall and had to pick up the pieces of my blown mind. So fresh and so good. See them live and you'll be able to die happy
    Noctourniquet is actually one of my favourite MV albums. I absolutely hated The Malkin Jewel the first time I heard it, and when I got the album I wasn't particularly impressed, but it eventually grew on me a lot. Which is pretty much my reaction to BR as well. The live footage that was going around didn't really strike a chord with me but after listening to the album I'm getting there
    There's some stuff on there I like. Empty Vessels, Dyslexicon. I guess I could have been more clear, in a lot of ways it's waaay more organized than their older stuff, but overall it's not my thing. I really didn't like some of the disjointed electronic rhythms. I think Bedlam was where they started to run out of steam, so I have no problem with TMV being done (for now).
    Yeah, fair enough, I can see what you mean. I'm a bit the opposite, I'm getting into quite a lot of electronic stuff lately so I like that they experimented with it, but it didn't sound like they had completely got the hang of it. I'm with you on TMV shutting down though. After Ikey got the boot, I didn't imagine that the band had much life left.
    great review! such a great album and such an amazing supergroup. i cant wait to see them again!
    I cant dig it either. Seems like the kind of music Omar would wan't to destroy... He really changed when his mother died
    Just cause you listen to his music you think you know him? That's a really shitty thing to say. I don't care how many downvotes this gets. You're a dick
    This kind of makes me miss TMV. Not that this music is bad or anything, but TMV was way more... suited to my tastes? Not that I think he made that band just for me by any stretch, but Frances The Mute and Amputechture pretty much defined my music taste in high school, and this is just a little too different. Not bad, just... not what I hoped for. Seems a little too... indie. Meh. Indie. :/ But hey, that means my bandmates and the kids coming to my band's shows will just eat this album up!