Seks Bomba was and arguably is a vocal & instrumental rock band, who came of age during the "lounge" era of American popular music, combining a love of vintage soundtrack music & the likes of Burt Bacharach & Henry Mancini with detailed arrangements and a need to play loudly and drink beer. The band was active as a live unit between 1995 and 2004, released 3 full-length CDs, one vinyl 45 and a few compilation tracks and won a Boston Music Award in 2000.
The band still receives regular airplay on stations like Soma FM's "Secret Agent" show (which we highly recommend, endorse, bow down to, etc) and has steadily racked up over half a million youtube views since the band's final, or as we say "most recent" gig.
Today, members of Seks Bomba may be found performing with such high-quality rock ensembles as the Upper Crust, Kingsley Flood and Matt Bunsen & the Burners; others may be found teaching their craft in such exotic locales as Beijing, China and Medfield, Massachusetts.
The concept of melding surf rock, spy music (Lalo Schifrin, James Bond thmes) and lounge music into a fast and loud rock band came to founders George Hall (whose previous band Dogzilla was an indie fave before the concept existed) and Chris Cote (Boston Baked Blues and the Dennis Brennan Band) in late 1994. The band was rounded out by Brett Campbell, drums; Lori Perkins, organ; and Matt Silbert; bass guitar.
They first came together for a 6-song set at the "Boston Rock Opera" Christmas party. The resulting enthusiasm led to subsequent performances and it didn't take long before Seks Bomba rose to prominence and became *BOOM* a Boston area favorite. They set mid-week attendence records at their favorite venue, the Lizard Lounge - located in the basement of the Cambridge Commons Restaurant on Mass Ave in Cambridge MA. There, they regulary rang in the New Year to throngs of people literally dancing on the tables. (At least one year anyway.)
Critics loved the band's first 2 CDs, or at least they loved to write nice things about them:
The band's debut "Operation B.O.M.B.A" (YaYa) was described by the Boston Phoenix as "an exquisite collection of suspenseful
slinkage, surfish polyesterism and crime-noir clatter." Their
sophmore effort, "Somewhere in this Town" (YaYa) took it further, leading
Stuff@Night columnist Jonathan Perry to conclude that "remarkably, Somewhere
In This Town goes that superb slice of aluminum one better. Everything,
from the songwriting to the musicianship to the production is that much
sharper." "This is one of the most fun, most clever, and downright best CD's I've heard in a long time" is how John Heidt of Vintage Guitar put it.
There is a whole lot more on the quotes page.
Their music was used throughout Season 13 of MTV RealWorld (Paris) as well as in MTV RoadRules, One Life to Live, NPR bumpers, some indie films, and elsewhere. With the Austin Powers craze in full effect, Seks Bomba rose to become *POW* a regional act!
As a Performing Unit, the band had
been featured with a diverse array of contemporary pop artists, ranging
from the renowned Combustible Edison and Finnish surf avatars
Laika & the Cosmonauts to red hot post-ironic hipsters the
Squirrel Nut Zippers. Further appearances with
Friends of Dean Martinez,
Jasper & the Prodigal Suns,
The Strangemen, the
Simon & the Bar Sinisters and others had steadily won new converts to the
bands high energy blend of Things and Stuff.
In 2001 they received their first nomination for a Boston Music Award, and came away as a winner in an odd category so linked to it's era that it no longer exists. The band was in high demand and even was hired to play a series of high paying corporate gigs and weddings. Some of Seks Bomba's biggest fans came to include a number of acclaimed musicians, something Matt never really understood.
Citing exaustion and circumstances beyond his control, Matt moved to Los Angeles in 2002 and went on to form Matt Bunsen and the Burners. He was replaced by Paul Engle who remained with the band to through their last show. Brett Campbell left the band in 2005, and was replaced by () for the final 5 shows. Other notable guest personnel include keyboard player Brother Cleve (Combustible Edison) who subbed for Lori for at least 2 shows, as well as saxophonist Russ Gershon of Either Orchestra fame. Many of Seks Bomba performances were enhanced by the presence of Go-Go Dancers, most notably Stephanie and Sue.
The band played their last show in August 2005 and released their final CD "Thanks and Goodnight" that year. They never did issue a T-shirt, and no reunions are expected. However, the band lives on thanks to the "long tale" of the internet. From Pandora to niche radio stations with lounge music programming, Seks Bomba can still be heard regularly. Services such as Audiosocket have kept the catalog active, just recently licensing a whole bunch of tracks to the The Freakonomics podcast.
"We always had a hard time describing answering the question 'what kind of music do you play' and ultimately that could have led to our demise." said Matt to no one inparticular. "Its easier to succeed in music when you can be easily categorized. Still,
it was a great run - damn the 90s were a good time. I loved that band."