The production on Bonfire Nightclub is crisp and clear. That clarity of sound also makes it abundantly obvious that The Sammies are a band of music nerds. On one track you might say to yourself, “Oh man, this blues punk track really shreds.” The next song makes you wonder, “Wait, is this a DEVO b-side?” For a band that traverses touchpoints as disparate as Skynyrd, and Pavement; REM and The Killers; and, hell, even Frank Zappa, the band’s fourth full-length offering is remarkably anchored and cohesive. It builds off of the raw, rock & roll edge The Sammies established with their first two records, while incorporating the atmospherics they started to feature heavily by the time of their third record, 2016’s Boy Georgia.
Still, Bonfire Nightclub covers a lot of new ground, as well, from the synth-laced Spaghetti Western “Goonies Fingers” to the bluesy twang of “I am the Bee”, and on to the psych-rock riffage of “So Cold.” It’s clear, too, that on album No. 4, and after almost 15 years of being a band, The Sammies have gained plenty of maturity, but have held fast to the deadpan playfulness that made them so compelling from the start.
If you live in, or around, the Charlotte area, the band will be playing the new record on Friday at the Visulite Theatre.