Bamboo Vipers

When Lymington’s finest The Cropdusters went on permanent hiatus a couple of years ago one wondered if they’d ever return in some shape or form. Step forward original vocalist Shaun Morris with a new band called Bamboo Vipers. This Glam/Punk/Rock ‘n’ Roll quintet have a new LP entitled “Dangling The Bait”, and we at RR have obtained a copy.

“Alien Friends Reunited” is a “bonkers” opener with more than a nod to Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” in the guitars. Lyrical content is unsurprisingly “alien influenced” – make of it what you will?! UFO’s, Outerspace, Aliens, it’s all in there. Clangy guitars feature prominently in the middle 8 and there’s definitely a feeling this is a track crying out to be played live. My only criticism would be song length for an opening track. We are even afforded a 2nd middle 8 (at the end)! That said, as the opening track it’s a great place to start.

“Banged Up Abroad” starts all slow and mellow before an explosive delivery of chorus. The vocals are angry while extolling the virtues of too much excess abroad. Another great bassy middle 8 within an “Old Skool Punk” vibe here. “Wild Flowers” starts with a strong guitar and drum intro. It’s a tale of festival life for the “new wealthy breed”. Not your usual tale of festival life and contains a great chorus. Another for the live singalongs I feel.

“Biting Army” begins all SLF guitars, matched by heavy drumming. There’s a decent acoustic guitar piece in the middle to keep things fresh, while the strong chorus gave me visions of a the “left, right, left, right” of marching soldiers. Shaun’s vocals are once again angry and snarly, but deliver. “Royal British Legion” tells the wonderful story of Shaun’s stag do and travelling exploits. It’s a tale of a riotous night in his hometown and the vision of an old face from the past. “We Saw Galen in the Royal British Legion” has to be one of the best choruses I’ve heard in a while. It’s a short song but a belter at that.

“Crystal Methodist” has a Buzzcocks-esque guitar intro, although the main riff reminds me of The Damned’s “Burglar”. The “maypole” excerpt in the middle is interesting, while the line about “The Beast” forms the main part of yet another singalong chorus. “The Lord’s My Shepherd’s Pie” is a song about gluttony-enough said! Once again the classic line is the star turn here. “What Will People Say About Me, When I Am Dead and Gone, That Lazy Fat B*stard, That Wobbling Blancmange!” It’s hard not to break into a smile upon hearing this line.

Bamboo Vipers

“Chemical Castration” is another mid LP short song. I’m guessing for “breathing space” when playing live. “Swivel-Eyed Loons” takes a slight Dr. Feelgood “Milk and Alcohol” riff in the guitars and is more than a veiled dig at those in authority. It’s delivered here in that trademark Bamboo Vipers “Punk satire”. “Bonking Boris Johnson” seems to be the main beneficiary here. Another gentle acoustic middle 8 isn’t out of place on this, another live favourite. “Fear” is a classic one minute Punk epic. The Anti Nowhere League come to mind but again it keeps things fresh here before arguably, the finest song on this collection.

“Tarzan Cards” begins with some rabble rousing “ooo’s and aaah’s” before the song really comes to life. A song inspired, unsurprisingly by Tarzan Cards! I suppose you have to be of a certain age to remember them-I don’t! Anyway, back to the song. There’s a rather blatant borrowing of Bow Wow Wow’s “C30,C60,C90, Go” in the chords but it’s a perfect fit for this song. That feeling as a kid of buying said cards and a slither of bubble gum evokes childhood memories. Anyway, it’s the best song on here-strong drums, fine guitar work and a sing-a-long chorus.

“Roger The Cabin Boy” begins all early ‘Banshees’ guitars. A song about life on the sea and taking ‘of the forbidden fruit’! No need to explain any further. A life on the ocean with only seasickness and fish suppers to look forward to! What to do with all that spare time! “God’s Little Nimby” is another pop at those in the decision making hierarchy. Sung with spite and anger it’s an emotive little number. The mid-song “woah’s” remind me of The Clash but you could pick any one of a number of influences here.

This collection ends on “The Bee Song”. A chance to really have some fun. Frenetic picking and some drum ferocity behind Shaun’s multi speed vocal delivery. Chords that sound like “buzzing” bees-whatever next! Any excuse to get the crowd moving at live shows, the perfect ending.

As a debut this collection could comfortably sit up there with many other “Punk” bands doing the circuit right now. It has all the right ingredients. Have they shaken the shackles of their Cropdusters past? I’d say so.

Track Listing
Alien Friends Reunited
Banged Up Abroad
Wild Flowers
Biting Army
Royal British Legion
Crystal Methodist
The Lord’s My Shepherd’s Pie
Chemical Castration ( Or A Day In Dunstable)
Swivel Eyed Loons
Tarzan Cards
Roger The Cabin Boy
God’s Little Nimby
The Bee Song


Words By Ross A Ferrone.

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