Review – BISONwar’s Tribes, Written by Bassist Peter Boskovich
Since its foundation in 2015, the Pasadena, CA trio, BISONwar, continues to be a much needed breath of fresh air in the realm of instrumental progressive music.
As a concept, the music is simultaneously insightful and brutal while displaying a depth that belies the “non-musician listeners will be bored” myth.
The 12 tunes that comprise the band’s 2nd release, Tribes, were written by bassist Peter Boskovic, BISONwar’s chief composer, and feature his incredibly dense plectrum technique that mixes incredibly well with the brilliant playing of his bandmates, Guitarist/Mastering Engineer Joe Gamble, and drummer Nate Taitano. In all, the thematic and anthemic approach taken by this band, all the while managing to play very interesting parts, serves as a wonderful compliment to each composition.
Guitarist Joe Gamble says, “We tracked both records at the Los Angeles College of Music where Peter (and sometimes I) teach. The first record had all instruments done entirely live at LACM. With Tribes I tracked all the guitars at my home studio, where I also mixed and mastered both records. We began working on this record in Aug ’16 and recorded in June of ’17.”
Peter Boskovic says this about his gear and general writing process, “For this record I used my Nash 5-string, fretted bass that I bought in ‘07 for all but Tomahawk. I believe I used my Squire Precision fretted 5-string for that tune. All of my 5-string instruments are strung E, A, D, G, C (low-to-high). For amplification, I played through a Mark Bass head through an Aguilar 1×12, that we both mic’d and ran a line out. Effects-wise, there is a DigiTech unit that I have for gain, and my trusty MXR OC pedal – for heavier parts. Otherwise, I play clean.
‘As to the writing process, it’s just that: Writing music for the joy of it! When I start an idea, I work at it until it is a complete piece of music… because I don’t like fragments lying around. I finish each concept before moving on to the next. Once a piece of music is complete, we show up to rehearsal and I’ll show them what I’ve come up with! Then, Joe and Nate are free to come up with their own parts. I give very little direction (if any at all) as to what they play. It’s a pretty easy process… for me at least! That said, I know how fortunate I am to get to play with these guys, and I’m very grateful.”
Each member of the band handles an area of their brand of DIY marketing and promoting, and Tribes shows substantial growth in the areas of production, and arrangement. BISONwar is, simply, getting stronger every day! This band will, absolutely, send you to the shed!
Take a moment to check them out on Facebook, or at bisonwar.bandcamp.com/album/bisonwar
Must hear tunes: Tomahawk, Blood, Arrow, Void