Bozart – Bunge EP

Bunge EP

It used to be a band had to have at least two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, a keyboardist, a singer, and perhaps a few other assorted members to fill out the sound. It makes you wonder how there was ever enough room for such bands to play small clubs. These days, it seems less is more, as a number of duos have come across my desk recently.
Bozart, a duo of guitars and drums from Minnesota, were formerly part of the math-rock band Holgator. Well, they kept their math-rock sound, at least. They do mix in a few different guitar parts, as both members play guitar on the album, and they have numerous time changes as every math rock band is supposed to have. Are they particularly different from most of the other math-rock bands coming out of the woodwork? No, but they’re still good at what they do.
“Anaconda Opportunity” opens things up quite nicely and restrained. The guitar is melodic and mixed well with the drums for a more mellow and flowing sound. “Moves Through Locked Doors” has a more guitar-focused sound, with some thicker guitar sounds that remind me of an almost classic rock feel. Turn that up several notches on the purely rocking “Set Aside.” When the guitars rip in, blaring and slightly grungy, I feel the band really hits their stride. It’s no coincidence that Tim Green (Melvins, The Fucking Champs, Lync) helped out on the recording of this EP.
It’s too bad the band doesn’t maintain their pace, as “Unlimited Thickness” falls into a more rambling, quieter sense. There is a nice mixture of guitar parts here and, oddly, no drums at all. It has a kind of strange, free-form feel that works on here, just not following up “Set Aside.” On “Say it Again,” the band moves back into comfortable territory, with a steady, complex beat and ripping power chords that are almost metallic. Think of another duo – Local H – perhaps. “Hats at Easter” is a bit more complicated, with more intricate guitar and drums ala Pele at times, while the closer “Bunge” starts off quieter and more subtle before taking off in a blistering rock attack, with power chords and driving hard-rock drumming..
With seven songs in 19 minutes, Bozart do take a different approach than most bands of their ilk. Instead of hitting you with long, complex instrumentals, they’re content with shorter and more direct songs. And that’s a plus, I think, because the songs are different enough to keep things interesting. That’s where I would say Bozart are set apart, with shorter songs that are more firmly based in a classic rock-n-roll mentality. Definitely worth a listen, even if they don’t break new ground.