What is Bam Bam smoking, and can we have some?
Name: Bam Bam
When They Started: 2007
Genre: Mexican Psych-Rock
The Sound: The British Invasion if it was sung in Spanish and on even more hallucinogens.
Watch Bam Bam’s music videos, and one thing is instantly apparent: these five dudes from Monterrey, Mexico like to get weird.
In the video for their single “Ragatrón” (below), the band wears big artificial eyes and dayglo green painted lips as they jam out in some sort of blacklit, underwater region of inner space. Meanwhile, droning guitar licks tumble over a classic British garage Rock sound and falsetto voices sing out catchy, Beatles-esque melodies.
In other songs and videos, they stick to that psychedelic tone, whether taking us on a kaleidoscope journey or re-imagining scenes from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Their vintage sound and trippy aesthetics have earned a lot of critical acclaim in Mexico, where their album Futuro Via recently won a nod as “Best Rock Album” from IMAS, the country’s indie music awards. They just did SXSW for the third time, and are fast becoming a favorite on Mexican festival lineups.
The success is almost to be expected from one of the marquee acts on Arts & Crafts Mexico, the label founded in 2002 to bring popular indie acts to the Mexican market and cultivate local bands with unconventional sounds. Bam Bam is sitting on a roster that includes Beirut, Neon Indian, and the Fleet Foxes, so they’re among good company.
In case you’re worried the hype will lead them to sell out one day, Bam Bam seems pretty dedicated to their craft. According to an interview with Mexico’s Radio Panamérika, they think that bands should stop worrying about success and, “stay busy making interesting music, playing well live, make albums that inspire future generations, and help grow the scene in their city.” Sounds about right to us.