Much like their Norwegian compadres Blodig Alvor and, to a lesser extent, Kvelertak, Trondheim natives Bokassa are big fans of throwing everything their musical arsenal contains into a mixer and seeing what comes out…
The band themselves label the glorious noise they make ‘stoner punk’, though mercifully there’s none of the bong-driven inertia that monicker might suggest. Storming hardcore anthems like Crocsodile Dundee (sic) and Five Finger would point to an excessive intake of something to stiffen the sinews, but it sure ain’t the herb… This is strident, beautiful music, delivered with the sort of gusto and sheer gut-busting commitment this writer hasn’t heard in a long time.
The key here is that Bokassa are not afraid to let a good chorus poke it’s head over the parapet every now and then, or indeed to really throw a few curve balls the listener’s way. Here Goes Nothing sounds like a heaven-made marriage of Jane’s Addiction and Shelter – can you get your brain around that? – with superb Navarroesque wahed-out guitars jostling for moshpit space with some frankly huge gang vocals.
There’s enough of the familiar here to snare those who like their music a bit more straightforward, but it’s the little jinks and dives the band take along the way that makes Divide & Conquer such an interesting album to listen to. Every time you put it on you’ll go away with a different favourite track – and I guarantee you’ll be putting this album on a lot if you decide to take the plunge and shell out for it. Which you should. From the pure punk fury of Retaliation to the long-drawn out (and quite surprising) epic album ender Stoner Anthem, there is quite literally something for everyone of a punk bent on this record.
Bokassa’s Divide & Conquer is out now on All Good Clean Records