Review Summary: Krap Bambino
Kap Bambino is a French electro-dance duo who started in 2002 with their debut record Love
. Fast-forward to 2008 and here we have Zero Life, Night Vision
, the group's sophomore effort, and sadly they haven't progressed very much. This album continues the cheerful party vibe that Kap Bambio plays and distorts the s*** out of their sound, all the while making everything more annoying in the process. That's not even including Caroline Martial's sterile, spoiled-brat sounding vocals.
Zero Life Night Vision
ignites with the 2-minute "Zero Life" intro, an energetic track that serves as the tone-setter for this record's whiny vocals and squealing dance beats. It may sound like I'm damning this album right off the bat, but there are plus sides to Martial's vocals and the chirping melodies to come. They are charming when done properly, shown on "Save" and "Seed", where the duo incorporates playful vocals with catchier, less whimsical computer rattles and hums. The vocals feel playful throughout, but Zero Life
sets a fine line for itself between "fun dance music" and "cacophony". Some tracks try to be bittersweet and danceable, such as "New Breath" and "Kaos Killer", but ultimately blare away as crowded, scratchy dance tunes with little substance. Even still, Zero Life
lacks the variety and stand-out tracks to maintain itself, and songs tend to blend together and sound similar. Computer-dude Orion Bouvier's computer noises rarely deviate from the norm, which is overly-fuzzy and at some times monotonous. There are pseudo-Nintendo bleep noises that change the feel of the record, if only for a brief time, which can be found on "New Breath", the intro to "Kaos Killer", and throughout "Save", but these are too few and far between to make a noticeable difference. This makes the album really boring and stale, especially for a dance album. To make matters worse, Martial's vocals are mostly unpleasant. They are either muffled behind Bouvier's fuzz or fall to the same repetitive fate as the instrumentals. Not that it matters if you can fully hear it or not, because her voice for the most part is too whiny and immature to be worth being heard. She also uses cringe-worthy yelps and squirrelly shrieks, noticeable on parts of "Save", "New Breath" and "More Machine" that make this record all the more annoying.
It's a sigh-worthy effort, but not everything bores. Every now and then there's something to be liked about the group's style, as Martial's vocals may grow on you by the middle of the album. Their energy and attitude is undeniable, which does work for certain party situations. While the album is much harder to sit through from start to finish, you may take a liking to the album's chaotic vibe when you give the songs more individual attention; this is an album to be enjoyed in smaller bursts than as a whole. Some songs are effective in their attempts to be charming, in their own, odd way. "Save" is easily this album's highlight, using everything Kap Bambio uses for the better (that's not to say it doesn't sound like every other track), from the 8-bit progressions and less-fuzzy computer noises to Martial's more admirable execution of her vocals.
Zero Life, Night Vision
had some of the right ideas but ultimately didn't use them properly. The album as a whole is boring, largely similar per track, and often stumbles over trying to be charming. Its an unfortunate facet that bugs the whole record and leaves club-goers much to be desired.