Before this album, I’d tell you that Bombadil was a really good dreamy pop band from North Carolina that you should see if you get the chance. But with Metrics of Affection they’ve shown an incredible amount of range and vision. So much that I can’t grasp all of it, but it’s still entirely engaging. They’ve reclaimed dreamy as a better word–no longer for out-of-touch frivolous nice people–but music that really tries to whip our boldest ambitions out of our heads and into discussion with other people.
The bulk of the album is the twangy smart art pop Bombadil does well in the company of Oh No Oh My or Tin Armor, Marah or Karl Blau. But they stretch it out. They try rap on “Isn’t It Funny,” and even though I’m conscious of it, thinking about whether or not it’s more successful than Springsteen’s rap interlude on Wrecking Ball’s “Rocky Ground,” which I maintain worked really well, I’m enjoying every second of it. It works. They work it. They slide from piano instrumental “Patience is Expensive” into a bowing folk song “When We Are Both Cats.” The rowdy vocal performance on “What Does It Mean” reads like Bombadil stealing bombast and acrobatics back from popstars and their melodrama-mining hook-writers who beat that emotional horse to death. “One More Ring” delivers the perfect follow-up, channeling the drama of “What Does It Mean” into a Whiskeytown-like rained-on country song.
Bombadil is a fucking awesome band from North Carolina that you should seek out right away.