Bump 2 * CD
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Description & Features+
Recording information: Pioneer Recording, USA (1971).
Bump's second album was due for a 1971 release but never appeared, so its first formal release 40 years on is by default something of a curio. Given the band's pleasant but not generally remarkable work on that first album, 2 would seem to be more of the same, but there's a sense that they might have been figuring out a way to develop things just a bit more if they had had the chance. "Winston Built the Bridge" starts off with all the scuzz you could want, which ends up lurking in the background behind the sweet demi-dippy demi-funky song itself, a classic case of accidentally stumbling onto something, at once continuing the just-out-of-the-acid-splash craziness of the previous years but not quite finding what they need to connect. But moments like the sudden break from keyboards to high chorused vocals on "Such Pretty Scenery," followed later by an extended instrumental break that's both stentorian and genuinely entertaining, show that the sparks are there. A song like "Let Me Lie," stripping away the keyboard swirls for the most part for a taut edge, is a nice touch, giving a little more variety for the album, while the easygoing demi-boogie of "Sea of Tranquility" -- a perfectly timely reference given the recent moon landings -- also gels well enough. Meanwhile, "Boris the Black" lets them go for a full-on indulgence at an album-closing ten minutes, but again, compared to a lot of the little-goes-a-long-way acts of the time, the strip back to a quieter part followed by a rhythmic guitar/cymbal slash and crash with keyboard soloing over the top all holds up entertainingly. When a triumphant solo starts with three minutes to go, it actually feels like something that's been earned; when psychotic screams crop up in the final minute, it makes for an uneasy ending at best -- and a compelling one. ~ Ned Raggett
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Q & A+