Out of Creation and onto Poptones, the label with `deep pockets and short arms,' Bahama marks the return of that band named after a dog. Who did the song about the rabbit.
With Arnold, you can be pretty sure you will be getting dysfunction, twisted lyrics and some gorgeous guitars. From the shredded Gilmour Strat moments of opener Climb to the dense John Fry acoustics of closer Pavey Ark, these are tales of relationships that are stretched taut as those guitar strings, and others that are loose as usher's ties after a booze-soaked wedding. "I don't know which one is really you, but I love the two," claims Tiny Car, before wandering off fluttering quartertones. Cute as all hell.
Then there's the sublime single Oh My ("Days never end, 300 days of July") and you remember that this is a band formed after the death of a good friend. There is something almost recklessly sad about the Arnold sound, but their attitude towards actual depression is a robust 'been there, done that' (Boo You). They have also let some late summer sunshine in on these recordings. Some of the details are positively jaunty (the gay music teacher in Jus de Lune, the Sowetan filigree guitarwork in Easy), and this time the band doesn't sound as if it might fall apart halfway through each tune, as on 1998's The Hillside Album. More immediate and concise than that record, Bahama harks back to the band's mini debut The Barn Tapes. In today's market of 74-minute sprawlers, this barely makes it through the 40 minute mark, including the `hidden' tracks at the end. Here the mood goes kind of s*p*a*c*e*y. There's even a strange awestruck gospel shuffle (Please) that rents a room to Dillard & Clark, Exile-era Stones and Spiritualized and just lets God sort it out.
Alternatively, you could buy it just for the bonus track, Evermore for Evermore. It's that good.