N.A.M.B. - BMAN
Part situationist pranksters, part conceptual industrialists N.A.M.B. are a curious bunch. They hail from Torino and have adopted a band name which, like La Pasqua, is a moveable feast. On a Tuesday you might click on their website to find the band named Nascere Artisti Morire Buffoni” (“Born Artists, Die Clowns”), but the following day it could be something entirely different, like “Neuroni Annoiati Masticano Boiate” (“Bored Neurons Chew Rubbish”). In typically Italian fashion it is a case of style being more important than substance, ah but what style, we’ve missed pointless slogans since Richey Edwards took his last taxi ride to Aust.
Unlike their debut release BMAN is performed in English, a concession which certainly aids appreciation of the rather cutesy-pie concept of the Album. Essentially the record traces the voyage of personal discovery taken by a tiny robot called BMAN; the substance of the story being that following trends and a dissolute lifestyle just don’t fulfil a switched on robot. The subtext being that you should cherish your individuality, and N.A.M.B. unquestionably follow their own advice.
As you might expect of an album born in the heart of modern Europe, the musical direction is somewhat at odds with our anglo-american taste and treads an uncomfortable path between prog rock soundscapes and NIN industrial pop rock. It just about pulls off the trick but the formula is stretched gossamer thin over the course of this lengthy experiment. The saving grace of the project is the accompanying booklet which tells the story of BMAN through a series of enchanting illustrations by maq4ka and additionals by Gabriele Ottino . Certainly an album for anyone seeking an uplifting challenge when planning their listening for this autumn.