You’d be forgiven for thinking this garage-soul trio from Stanley were giving a nod to a beloved Geordie TV show from our youth. However, the Bohemian Grove is actually a summer camp in California, famed for being where rich Republican presidents went to “misbehave.”
There may not be anything overtly political about their self-titled EP, but Tony Brown (vocals, lead guitar), Matt Fairley (guitar, drums) and Andrew Garfoot (bass) have delivered a solid set of tracks.
The opener,’ Before Your Eyes’, brings you in with an echoing bass drum and Tarantino-style vibrato guitar. It’s an immersive beginning and has you believing these guys might have something, but the release is let down by ‘For Once in my Life’, which could easily be mistaken for a Zutons b-side.
Without doubt, though, the best track on here is ‘Shot in the Dark’ – it sounds like it belongs in a Bond movie. It’s a beauty, with plenty of rock-laden soul and swagger. The EP closes with ‘Living with Ghosts’ – a number which sprawls nicely across soaring vocals and plodding bass but doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor.
There’s a more than subtle resemblance to Arctic Monkeys here, with Brown’s strong vocal sitting on top of a driving rhythm and soul-tinged guitar that more often than not lives between AM and The Black Key’s ‘Turn Blue’ via Alabama Shakes, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as The Bohemian Grove do enough to prove they have a groove all of their own.
The Bohemian Grove’s self-titled EP is free to download and stream now at thebohemiangrove.bandcamp.com/releases