"Black Bambi" (20th Century Music; 1990/2017)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It's a story we've heard too often: So many great hard rock/heavy metal bands were on the verge of breaking big when grunge came along and pretty much crushed their hopes and dreams with its leaden, sludgy feet. Many of those bands were never heard from again. Some of them, however -- like Black Bambi -- eventually got lucky.

Through the power of YouTube and other channels the band's unreleased music got some traction. They were the stuff of legend, a band with a great album that got shelved when the music industry went in a different direction. Virtually nobody thought their self-titled debut would ever see the light of day. But now, nearly thirty years later, "Black Bambi" is finally available.

So, you are probably wondering, was it worth the wait? The answer is a resounding yes! if you're fan of music from that era. Black Bambi is sold hard rock in the vein of bands like Bang Tango and Ratt, with solid songwriting and a guitar-forward sound. At times they even add a little Southern edge, like the Black Crowes (who they previously had opened for) and at others it's pure Sunset Strip sleaze ("Lay Me Down").

What's really amazing about "Black Bambi" is that the music sounds so fresh today. Sure, it's an album that was recorded over two decades ago, but it still sounds like it was recorded just this year. I think if you told somebody this was a retro-style album that was recorded last year, they'd believe it.

I don't know what's going on in the Black Bambi camp these days. I don't know if the band got back together, or if they're even interested, or if a new album is forthcoming soon or never. But I do know I enjoyed listening to this self-titled CD ... and I will always wonder where the band would have gone if this album had been released way back when ... instead of so many years later.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2017 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 25 Feb 2019 21:42:47 -0500.