Bwani Junction -‘Tongue of Bombie’ (Aksatak)
Edinburgh’s Bwani Junction made a great start with their debut album Fully Cocked a couple of years ago. Barely out of school, said album was a mixture of indie rock with African Rhythms and guitars ( – lead guitarist Dan Muir was taught to play by legendary Zimbabwean band the Bhundu Boys, who his father Gordon managed). And here comes the long-awaited sophomore release.
Interviewing the band back in November, when I asked where the sophomore album was – and they were being quite cagey about the name – they told me it was finished and ready to go. Despite the wait, they are prolific writers (I ran into the aforementioned Dan Muir a couple of weeks later and he played me an as yet unnamed track from their third album) but they obviously wanted to be ready.
And it’s the sophomore album that people hoped for. It still sounds like Bwani Junction, but it’s darker and more grown-up (to say ‘mature’ would sound like they were making music for people well…older than yours truly). The four opening tracks have already done the rounds as singles – and in the hand of a lesser band, the album could tail off after that. But Bwani Junction are not a lesser band, and songs like ‘Jawbone Walk’ and ‘Auctioneer’ more than hold their own up against what we’ve heard before. Sure there’s strill the African influence but there’s probably far more in common with The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys, than a certain band from North America who based much of their early career ripping off Graceland…
There have been a few people in their hometown of Edinburgh who have slagged off the band because they went to private school – which seems like rather bizarre logic, after all, so did Radiohead, The Strokes and Joe Strummer. This says more about the prejudices of those who criticise them than it does about the band. They’re exactly where they should be – and their third album will hopefully continue the upward trend.
Tongue Of Bombie is out now