When I stumbled on The Wanton Bishops’ music online a while back, I was instantly hooked: their album ‘Sleep With The Lights On’ was such a heady, mesmerizing mix of deep blues and middle eastern vibes that it was impossible to resist.
On the new EP ‘Nowhere Everywhere’, the band adds a shot of electronic, dance-y beats to the musical mix, but one thing hasn’t changed: the music is still bloody addictive and insanely mesmerizing. I’ve had the EP on replay a lot in the last week: it’s the kind of music that makes you crave more, that makes you want to dig deep into the layers of sound and lyrics and music and vocals and rhythm.
Threading that dance-y streak through the blues/rock fabric of the music results in a brighter sound that is still solidly hip-shaking. As for what genre this is, I’ll go with the band’s own designation: Lebanese Rock n’ Roll. Another hint can be found in this quote about the band’s driving force, Nader Mansour, from the The Wanton Bishops’ website: “Nader as lead singer is the very epitome of a howling blues man. But throw in Nader’s psychedelic 60’s influences…and a heavy dose of meditative Middle-Eastern Tarab, and you’ve got a wicked brew that the world has never seen or tasted prior.”
On opening track ‘Waslaha’ The Wanton Bishops twist together an electrifying dance beat with a tasty, bluesy tune, shooting it up with an eastern beat that turns it into something sizzling hot and just flipping delicious. Oh, and there’s some harmonica, too. What clinches the deal though (and makes this maybe my favourite tune on this EP) is Mansour’s voice: all rugged strength and honey’d warmth, giving the track (and the rest of ‘Nowhere Everywhere’) just the right amount of grit and heft.
‘Hitman’ cranks up the heady, electronic beat and spins an outrageously and deliriously hooky tune with Mansour’s voice again being the magical ingredient.
The rest of the EP is just as good. There’s the blues-rocking sway and hip-shaking beat of ‘I Don’t Dance’ – with a completely addictive chorus. It’s followed by the gorgeous bluesy trip that is ‘Sailing Down’ with some beautiful bass- and guitar-work anchoring the tune’s steady sway and swagger. This track runs neck and neck with ‘Waslaha’ as my favourite on ‘Nowhere Everywhere’ – it’s the kind of tune I just want to keep listening to forever.
The EP closes out with the jaunty, blues-rocking ‘The Kinda Pain I Love’, wrapping up a terrific release. It’s only flaw? Well… it’s too short. ‘Nowhere Everywhere’ confirms that The Wanton Bishops are a hugely talented and musically gifted outfit: add them to your musical diet ASAP.
Get the EP:
- iTunes: http://smarturl.it/NowhereEverywhere-IT
- Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TWB-NEamz
- Google Play: http://smarturl.it/TWB-NEgp
- Spotify: http://smarturl.it/TWB-NEsp
- Apple Music: http://smarturl.it/TWB-NEap
- I Don’t Dance
- Sailing Down
- The Kinda Pain I Love
- Nader Mansour: vocals, guitar, harmonica, synthesizers, banjo, oud
- Eddy Ghossein: guitars, backing vocals
- Salim Naffah: guitars, electronics, backing vocals
- Anthony Sahyoun: guitars, electronics, backing vocals
- Pascal Semerdjian: drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Antonio El Hajj Moussa: bass, backing vocals