In 2006 I came across the track “Chaiyya Chaiyya – Bollywood Joint.” It is written by A.R. Rahman and performed by Sukhwinder Singh, Sapna Awasthi featuring Panjabi MC. For the last, almost six years, it has been in regular rotation for me, but I never really dove much deeper into the worldly productions from across the globe.
If you’re like me, you’re probably kicking yourself; but fear not, we have just the chance to jump in.
With an unbridled passion to reinvigorate, definitely not reinvent, decades old style and sound, The Bombay Royale has launched into the musical world with their debut You Me Bullets Love. If you’re the kind of person that loves to crank up the theme to Shaft, well then listen up, this album is a must hear and needs to be put high up on your list. And this is fair warning: you’re going to take a rather sudden second take that may or may not leave you with neck pain.
The late 1960s and well through the 1970s saw an evolution of funk induced flowing themes and soundtracks that are classics in their own right and often still heard today (See reference to Shaft). Among the sound was the infusion of funky bass and surfer drums accompanying slick guitar riffs. Setting out to honor the creative genius in both India and the United States that crafted such memorable sounds, the ten member audible cinematic experience masterfully created You Me Bullets Love.
Though nine of the ten tracks are not in English, you don’t need to be a worldly traveler to identify with the appreciative ode these head turning Melbourne musicians have created. The album is chalked full of enough snare to make the Ventures proud and enough slap bass licks to keep Mr. Isaac Hays satisfied. Tracks like “Monkey Fight Snake,” the title track “You Me Bullets Love” and the English delivered “The Perfect Plan” are instant addictions. The Bombay Royale never becomes redundant or boring within their debut. Beautiful vocals and immensely layered instrumentals keep the album fresh within its retro grooves. The body-moving authenticity that walks the fine line of “been done” is both infectious and refreshing without ever crossing over into the “been there” category. Capping off the record with “Phone Baje Na” the band takes one last turn toward a faint retro-vibe but maintains a more modern horn, bass mix and proves the depth they are capable of.
I never thought I’d find such a retro authentic sound in the form of The Bombay Royale. You Me Bullets Love is fun, addicting and well composed. It is one album that will be on regular rotation for a long time to come and one I strongly suggest hearing.