While this usually goes without saying, this time I’ll go out of my way and say that this review isn’t going to be a terribly authoritative one. I have listened to Banna Harbera a bunch of times – and have written about them on an early installment of the Local Outsider – but haven’t had the chance to truly immerse in them, so to speak. So, here’s me listening to their full-length Kept In Mind, in the middle of an afternoon walk, only expecting a 45-degree take on soul and jazz. And here’s me rediscovering just how beautiful Yzabel Torres’ voice is. Yes, people watch bands live, but unless you’re really focused you will miss the nuances on the recorded form; those nuances are front-and-center here. Unsurprisingly, Banna Harbera do their thing well, perhaps too well: everything feels deliberate and clear, each player bouncing off each other without making it sound like it’s all a jam. Each gets a chance to shine. Everything’s fully-formed. Perhaps my one trouble is, at 51 minutes, the record ceases to surprise halfway through; proficiency is fun, but it can be a drag. But then you will have to focus. It’s those little things. Or, if you’ve got a short attention span like me, just like to Yzabel do her thing. It goes without saying, again, that I love my good female vocalists – but she wouldn’t shine without everybody else. Banna Harbera’s record shows teamwork at its best. [NB] | 4/5
We’re back to (somewhat) regular programming on this month’s Local Outsider, with us playing catch-up to more acts that we’ve been meaning to feature on the column. And we have to, because next month is the last column (of the year) and we’ll unveil the results of our months-long hunt for the contents of the Philippine indie care package we’re giving to our friend in Kuala Lumpur. (You might have a good idea what’s in it if you’ve been following us on Twitter, or if you’re one of the bands involved.) So, well, on to the tunes – and we begin with a band whose name reminds me of that one time in Bangkok when I had nothing to watch but Boomerang, and I lamented why those classic cartoons are no longer on the Cartoon Network.