Boom Pam Boom Pam

Back in the early ’60s, Dick Dale re-energised rock with his high volume "surfcapades.” But where did the rhythms and modes that launched a thousand Tarantino knockoffs originate? Dale has always credited his Lebanese heritage for the compelling scales, and melodic and rhythmic power of Levantine music for inspiring his fractious minor-key rock. Now Tel Aviv’s Boom Pam brings it full circle with a twin guitar attack that conjures Mediterranean breakers and Balkan backbeats all at once. Boom Pam is a tight little combo of guitars, drums and tuba. In addition to laying down the bottom end, tuba player Yuval "Yuby” Zolotov often gets the melodic highlights as the guitars face off against each other either in rhythmic unison or in circular call and response motifs. Drummer Dudu Kohav brings a punk edge to what might otherwise devolve into Robert Fripp’s League of Gentlemen without his presence. Balkan beat-meister Shantel’s production seems uncomplicated but is actually quite varied from song to song with different EQ balances on everything, especially the tuba — this may seem like a weird compliment but no one in the world can record a tuba like Shantel. This CD rocks from start to finish, and is impossible to pigeonhole geographically. Only the vocals need work; "Otto Chiconi” comes out okay , but "Let Me Touch” is an horny throwaway although boasting an intriguing Morricone-esque string overdub. No Christmas or Chanukah party in 2006 should be without this record. (Essay)