Zoobombs – Let it Bomb – Review


Let it Bomb (Emperor Norton)
by Jon Sarre

It doesn’t matter that I can’t understand a fucking thing these Tokyo-based punk dopes drunk on funk are talking about (‘cept on “Mo’ Funky (pt. 1)”, when they say “you need to get more funky” a whole buncha times), or even what language they usually sing in, for all I know it may be just nonsensical babble’n’grunts interspersed with repeated phrases like James Brown does, or a wholly invented language a la Magma or the creature cantina scene in Star Wars, cuz Zoobombs, once they get into the groove, gotta be some of the most original rip-off artists goin’. You can put ’em up there with Spencer, Beck, the Beastie Boys (or even Royal Trux, since the Zoobombs’ plundering extends to the Stones catalogue on the wasted Richards stumble of “Pleasure Drop”). As is the case with the above mentioned artists, they deftly mix up everyone’s shit – power chords, Stax organ licks, hip hop beats (with a real live drummer!), lo-end bass, world beat schlock (on “4190,” it kinda sounds like “Japanese” music), there’s even a nudge, nudge, wink, wink romp thru Spinal Tap territory (they cover the proto-Tap Thamesmen’s “Gimme Some Money” with sinister rumbling bass registry and blues harmonica).

Unlike some of the better-knowns namedropped earlier, Zoobombs pretty much operate minus artistic pretension, yet still without the vacuousness of straight-up dance music. Ya get the feeling these guys (‘n’ girl) don’t care what ya do with their shit, long as ya like it. When they throw in what sounds to be an homage to ’70s country iconoclast Jerry Jeff Walker – inexplicably titled “Ships Are Alright” – and an obvious “Sister Ray” rip-off (“Don’s Dream”), well, what are ya supposed to make of it? Hell if I know, but it’s still fun to find out.