In 2016 The Bradipos IV after 11 years The Bradipos IV released their comeback record The Partheno-Phonic Sounds Of… It was a great record, and gauging by the hype at Surfguitar 101, a lot of people agreed. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait very long for the next one.
While Partheno-phonic was comprised of traditional neapolitan songs, the new record is a bit more of a straightforward instro record, especially as they tend to be today. That means a few covers, some dipping into other sub-genres (particularly Western in this case) and a bunch of originals.
In the blurb on their bandcamp page, they mention that they dwell in minor tones giving it a melancholic feel, and that’s true somewhat, especially on the slower “The Steel Valentine” but it’s hard to ascribe that feeling to band such bursting energy. I think the melancholy and energy mix into a feeling of passion, which I think was one of the big strengths of the last record as well.
I think that feeling is strongest on “Hangover Serenade”, my favorite track, which grabs your attention immediately with a high-register shimmer. I also loved the pounding energy of “Tumbleweed Stomp”
The covers on this record are mostly pretty far off the beaten path, enough to feel like a normal part of the album. The opening track “Ghost Hop” by the Surfmen is great and makes me want to dig up my own 45 of it because I don’t remember it sounding this fresh. “Heartful of Nothing” is a great pastiche of Western songs and is one of my favorites on this record. I think “Siboney” is the weakling of this bunch and maybe the album itself. It’s the cover I’ve heard done the most and I don’t think they put their mark on it as strongly as I would hope.
All in all, another great effort from a great band. I feel that I have to sneak in there that they were a big highlight of Surfguitar101 that year and that performance will likely endear me to any record they put out. You can grab this one from bandcamp or vinyl from Area Pirata Records.