The Bombay Royale ‘The Island of Dr. Electrico’ (Hope Street) CD/LP/Dig 3/5

The-Bombay-RoyaleMelbourne-based Bollywood fusion band the Bombay Royale return with a typically eclectic mix of psychedelic, surf and disco grooves which builds upon their debut release from 2012 ‘You me bullets love’, an album that was well received. The heady interweaving of grooves works best on the title track which comes across as Blaxploitation meets Bollywood head on with heavy bass line, percussion and sitar in abundance and it promises to be a dancefloor winner of a funk track. Lo-fi production values predominate on ‘(Give me back my) Bunty Bunty’ with echo vocals that lend this song something of a 1970s retro flavour while there is no mistaking the surf guitar influence on ‘The Bombay Twist’ which is a punchy instrumental that is quite manic in parts with special effects. In places the psychedelic guitar does grate a little and a stronger element of disco and funk would attract the dance music listener in greater numbers and is, perhaps, a future project for the group to reflect upon. One could argue that there are possibly too many disparate influences on offer, but that is to lose the point that the Bombay Royale are a world fusion band in the true sense of the word. They have never claimed to be a bona fide Indian roots group and deserve credit for their stance. Little wonder they have performed to great acclaim at Womad, Glastonbury and even the Cambridge Folk Festival in recent years. This is the kind of release that may appeal particularly to an indie rock audience in search of something different and who might normally be somewhat alienated by more traditional world roots grooves.

Tim Stenhouse