Mister Sam Presents The Bandana Splits



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Review Text With a sound which harks back to both the post-wartime jazz-pop of the Andrews Sisters and the girl group doo wop of the '60s, Brooklyn trio the Bandana Splits' self-titled album situates itself between fellow jukebox joint revivalists the Puppini Sisters and the Pipettes. The vintage red petticoats and deliberately retro record sleeve indicate that the newly formed band can certainly re-create the look of the era, but luckily, with producer Sam Cohen (Apollo Sunshine) on board, its 13 tracks also prove that there's substance to their style. The steel pedal-laden reworking of the Caravelles' Brill Building classic "You Don't Have to Be a Baby to Cry," a faithfully melancholic rendition of contemporary U.S. troubadour Benji Hughes' "All You Gotta Do Is Fall in Love," and a playful cover of Bette Midler's cabaret number, "Hawaiian Love Song," show that the band's musical knowledge extends far beyond the usual '50s and '60s standards, but the original compositions achieve their authentic, pastiche ambitions just as effectively. "Lavez Vous" is a tongue in cheek tale about learning French via various beauty products, which starts out with some gentle ukulele chords before turning into an appropriately cutesy slice of Gallic lounge-pop; "Sometimes" and "Ricky Dee" are gloriously infectious bubblegum pop anthems which combine a Spector-inspired Wall of Sound with breezy West Coast harmonies; while there are convincing attempts at seductive bossa nova ("Stay if You Wanna"), hippie-ish Americana ("Desert Love"), and old-fashioned rockabilly ("Choo Choo"). While there was always a slight raised-eyebrow knowingness to their counterparts' output, the Bandana Splits is an unashamedly affectionate and genuine homage which, for the most part, manages to sound fresh and classic at the same time. ~ Jon O'Brien

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Sometimes - 3:34
  2. 2. Ricky Dee - 3:42
  3. 3. Lavez Vous - 3:05
  4. 4. Choo Choo - 3:36
  5. 5. My Love - 3:23
  6. 6. Desert Love - 2:29
  7. 7. You Don't Have to Be a Baby to Cry - 3:36
  8. 8. Hold On - 3:33
  9. 9. Stay If You Wanna - 2:36
  10. 10. Baby Talkin' (The Shoo Wop Song) - 1:22
  11. 11. Chemistry - 2:45
  12. 12. All You Gotta Do Is Fall in Love - 3:35
  13. 13. Hawaiian Love Song - 1:07
  14. 14. Hawaiian Love Song

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