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If there was one word to define Bazaar, it would be 'mutation': the album at its core is characterised by change, evolution, re-creation and reinvention. During the last twelve months, Portland-based Wampire mutated from a duo to a five-piece band, which resulted in profound changes regarding their dynamics and subsequently reflected the emerge of a new paradigm in their performances and songwriting.

"I holed up in a tiny room within a friend's warehouse and began knocking out as many different songs as I could," claimed Eric Phipps on the creative process behind Bazaar. "I tried not to look back, just wanting to explore everything I could possibly create. I started to feel like I was becoming a Kafka-esque insomniac musical novelist at one point." If one takes the Kafka imagery introduced by Phipps and applies it to the album's essence, it's quite easy to understand the method chosen by the band to approach what is known as one of the hardest challenges to musicians: the second album.

Bazaar is a thrilling piece of dark pop, where the buzzing density of tracks like 'Too Stoned' or 'Fly On The Wall' contrast heavily with the psych-pop virtuosismo of 'Wizard Staff' or 'Millennials' (a clear influence from album producer Jacob Portrait, bassist in Unknown Mortal Orchestra). Less garagy than Curiosity, Bazaar shifts from the horror-synth-pop point of view in order to embrace a larger, more ambitious horizon - and it does so by mixing an immense variety of sounds that range from catchy indie riffs ('Bad Attitude', 'Sticking Out') to despair-filled synths, always with a very specific direction in mind. The commitment of Wampire in their message-perpetuation is admirable and comes across almost effortless - a middle-of-the-road attitude that situates itself between the "please-like-me" and the shrug of the shoulder. A special mention to the Oriental references in 'Life of Luxury', a beautiful track that could have well been the album's closer.

Although it becomes a bit too intricate (and therefore slightly boring) at times, the album is a fine example of the infinite possibilities created by the so-called post-indie/hipster-psych scene without taking itself too serious.

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