Doin' the Jerk at Dawn
HEART OF A CHAMPION, 2010
Bombay Sweets is a Minneapolis band consisting of Nathan Grumdahl (Selby Tigers,Dynamiters) and drummer Jeff Brown (His Mischief). Although the project has expanded beyond Grumdahl’s one-man-band vision, it remains his lovechild. Even with multiple instruments at play, the primary components remain Grumdahl’s guitar and voice. The project is heavily steeped in old 60s records, with R&B-derived rock at its center. Grumdahl’s voice comes across as clear and smooth with a touch of world-weariness and something of a sensual tone, giving a soothing tone that accentuates the melody without distracting from the musical swagger.
The A-side, “Doin’ the Jerk at Dawn” is a 60s-influenced jam with a soothing delivery that, despite its pleasantries, is also unmistakably rock’n’roll. The distortion-heavy guitars find some big hooks, and Grumdahl’s plays this to his advantage, busting out a quick but memorable refrain. The limited instrumentation and lack of any backing vocals gives it a personal, restrained air.
The B-side, “Breath Control,” starts out with some big guitar swagger that quickly morphs into a King Khan and BBQ Show-styled simplicity. It’s predominantly guitar, but Brown’s drums provide a minimal structure to adhere to. It’s a garage rock song that hits all the best elements of the genre: it recalls cliché without actually being one, instead coming across as new in sound with a bouncing, memorable melody derived from repetition of the chorus.
While the pacing differs from his other bands, Bombay Sweets still draws from many of the same influences—this time, though, Grumdahl is emphasizing the softer, melodic side. And he does so without feeling derivative.