In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It did an amazing job of making me feel like I was back in ‘99ish, or whenever it was, covered in sweat and spilled beer, and loving every second of it.”
I’d say a solid 99% of the music I listen to comes out of Australia, America and the UK. Maybe throw some Canadian stuff in there as well, but that’s about it. Millencolin might be the only band not from one of those countries that I listen to a lot, and have for many years. But there’s another one that I know I need to listen to more. Sometime around the turn of the century, I saw The Zoobombs live. It was that long ago and I was pretty drunk, but it might be one of the most vivid live music memories I have all these years later. The chaotic energy of these Japanese punkers, and the way it infected the crowd, was like noting I’d seen before, or have seen since. Which was why I was stoked to discover a kind of recent live Zoobombs album on Spotify with Oromo Kamakus.
But this isn’t just the Zoombombs. This is a combo live album between The Zoobombs and Oromocto Diamond. I’d never heard of Oromocto Diamond, but if they’d toured with The Zoobombs, I was pretty sure they’d be worth taking a chance on. And from the loose and messy chant of No Pressure, No Diamonds, to the rat-a-tat-tat instrumental of machine gun drums and percussive guitar of Osoyoos, that gamble pays off. Channelling Jack White’s warble and love of dirty guitar grooves, Maps get the crowds involved with some crucial “yeah, yeah, yeahs” as the rhythm section keeps a beat more regular than a Nazi train.
After a barrage of fun and punk rock energy, Oromo Kumakus gets a little dark on Elsa. But it straight back to breakneck tempos and A.D.D rhythms with Osorio. From call and response, to making the crowd se the beat via handclaps before stating a song like Osamu, The Oromocto Diamond almost make the audience members of the band. And that interaction makes Oromo Kumakus surprisingly effective and getting its live setting and energy through my headphones.
But after a spoken word (in Japanese) interlude from Zoobombs front man Don Matuso, it’s time for the headliner, the band that brought me here. It’s time for The Zoombombs. And with the anarchic Doo-Bee they do a great job of bringing back the feeling of that long ago live gig I saw in Brisbane.
After the explosive fun of Funky Movin’ (the title really says it all), The Zoobombs deliver some bass groove and smokey blues riffing on Circle X, complete with Matuso’s version of evangelical preaching moving things into a quieter, more intimate place. But not to be outdone by the previous band, these crazy Japanese punks get the crowd involved for Mojo Man.
As a live Zoobombs record, Oromo Kumakus did an amazing job of making me feel like I was back at the Zoo in Brisbane in ‘99ish, or whenever it was, covered in sweat and spilled beer, loving every second of it. As a Oromocto Diamond record, it made me feel like I need to know more about Oromocto Diamond.