After an eight-year haul, the two brother bombardiers, Sketch (Matthew Coleman) and Tommy Shades (Thomas Coleman), have finally released their debut album ‘Fragments’ on June 29th in the midst of a jam-packed national tour.
Many would recognise their shaggy hair, snapbacks and aviator sunglasses. Even more, they would reminisce over their first single Big Booty Bitches in 2010 that seemed to soundtrack the teen years of many nineties babies. But prepare yourselves to revel in an evolved Bombs Away sound that the Gold Coast duo said they “were genuinely proud of”.
Fragments is, as the boys say, “designed to be listened through, but digestible in fragments.” It follows a disjointed path where the flow through songs seems to pause, pivot and evolve into different audible themes. It’s enjoyable, surprising, and there are a handful of songs that will fit nicely into the current electro-pop dance charts, such as Let You Down featuring Sunset City, Before We Had A Label and Like You both featuring the soothing voice of Elle Vee.
The 13-track record includes Carbon (Intro) that sets the soundscape to something of a futuristic science-fiction atmosphere. Followed by likely pop hits Let You Down ft. Sunset City and my favourite, Before We Had A Label ft. Elle Vee.
Before We Had A Label ft. Elle Vee offers more than the ear initially hears. For me, this track holds a narrative through its detailed crafting of musical elements. It walked me down the grimy stairs to a dimly lit, haze-filled underground dance club. Moving through the obscuring crowd where a dance floor opened up to present a sea of people intertwining their bodies in a passionate and sensual style of Latin dance. And that is the power of music, it is subjective and limitless on where it takes you.
By track four we jumped back into the explosive party rhythm of Feel This Way and then We Should with vocals from Shadow Aspect. Amethyst (Intermission) breaks up the dancing with a two-minute interlude of fun and childish beats like dancing puppets on a xylophone. Showcasing vocals from Sunset City again, Have We Met Before takes us driving top down by the ocean until the next track stops the car with the deep-voice of Backchat featuring on the dark electro number Let It Burn.
Track eight infuses the uplifting voice of Sru along with an echoing string of synth sounds to give us All Of My Love. Like You ft. Elle Vee reverberates the speakers with an explosive drop until romance becomes a lingering theme as Myah Marie’s caressing voice on Drive Me Home accompanied by a slower pace demonstrates the variety in mood the boys have achieved. As the second last track Haunt The Sky raises the decibels once more leaving a nostalgic old school Bombs Away feel of exploding confetti and bursting champagne bottles. Finally, Running On Clouds lives up to its title and softly settles the vibe, tapering off the volume and bringing the forty-three minute party of an album to a close.
After a long career working with the likes of Potbelleez, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Ceelo Green and Pitbull to name a few, their influences have helped refine their production skills and assisted in the journey of crafting this body of work.
Though, it’s not only those twenty-first century hard-hitters that inspire their sound. The greats of music like The Eagles, Creedence Clearwater Revival and ZZ Top, enthuse the boys with their narrative abilities.
“The album name FRAGMENTS is a homage to the great musical storytellers, almost every song and even the intermissions come together as story fragments of one piece of work.”
To their credit, the substance of storytelling has improved from songs about women with large derriѐre’s or squatting in gyms. Fragments has brought a sophistication to the name Bombs Away, from what used to be a ‘bad-role model’ duo, to a pair of musicians with more to offer.
Sketch and Tommy Shades have produced a string of songs that experiment with a modernised electronic sound. They have layered sweet vocals over tasteful melodies and you tend to find yourself bopping along delightfully wishing there was a mojito in your hand.
If you’re expecting sounds like Supersoaker or Partybass, you’ll be surprised at what you get. Though their ability to please your buds has not disappeared, their sound has undoubtedly matured and grown alongside the changing landscape of dance music. Fragments will be the start to a regular place for Bombs Away in music libraries over the world, make sure it has a place in yours.
Tracklist: Bombs Away ‘Fragments’
- Carbon (Intro)
- Let You Down (feat. Sunset City)
- Before We Had a Label (feat. Elle Vee)
- Feel This Way
- We Should (feat. Shadow Aspect)
- Amethyst (Intermission)
- Have We Met Before (feat. Sunset City)
- Let It Burn (feat. Backchat)
- Like You (feat. Elle Vee)
- All My Love (feat. Sru)
- Drive Me Home (feat. Myah Marie)
- Haunt the Sky
- Running On Clouds
Album available here.