Monday, June 15, 2009
Silver Bullets - Free Radical (Stunned Records CS)
Oh man, here we go again... Stunned seems to have a knack for digging up these dirty, sludgy psych rock acts that have never been heard from in these waters before. I'm thinking Brave Priest, Kabyzdoh Obtruhamchi, etc. Phil's got a real ear for this kind of stuff, and this one is for sure no exception. Uncovered by fellow Super Mineral William Giacchi on a cross-Atlantic sojourn to Sicily, this unit is, to say the least, a real find. Presenting 11 tracks here, the tape is a complete zoner, EU style, touching on so many different facets and ceaselessly grooving into oblivion.
The tape opens with the steady pulse of "Monday Morning in Ragusa," whose timpanic drum beat and shattered shell rhythms lope along while melodica, guitar, and who knows what else rides the wave behind them. Like if Augustus Pablo met Parson Sound in a firehouse, if you catch my drift. And that's just the beginning."Flight from Babylon" almost reads like an Angus MacLise work played on some repetitive, manic-inducing loop before it slips away into the slow burning cruiser of "Black Leaf," which elicits much the same mentality (aka "get loose") as Sabbath's own leaf homage. Clearly referencing a different plant here, but the effects sure sound similar. Giacchi's production really stands out here too, allowing everything to slip into itself, creating a warm central stew whose edges are adorned with jangling rhythmic punctuations, guitar arpeggiations and whatever else makes its way out that far. Totally effective for the unit's sound, leaving a hot and sticky enough center to really take you to where the band's head seems to be at.
Covering every tune here is actually way too daunting, every one being a winner and all. But I can say that, whereas I tend to think that less is more in terms of numbers of songs in this kind of musical setting (generally indicating extended time slots for each workout) this one moves along super nicely, each diddy sliding into the next, fading in, fading out, like some endless beach party barn burner. And it's not even THAT out there, making it all the more disappointing that there will never be a day where I'll turn on the radio and hear some Silver Bullets accompanying my summer travels. "Il Punto," the second side's opener, emerges out of the fog with fists raised, finding some odd space between 80s new wave synth and total Ratt style metal stomper, plus a whole bunch else mixed in for good measure... really tough to get a grasp on the full effect here, but it's certainly got its eye towards the sky--careful not to burn the retinas though, you'll need those to oggle the airplane crash instruction-style cover art with faces mixed together ad infinitum. Which is how many times you should jam this tape. "Shiva," "74 Dream," the closing "Ascent." Each is an example of just how good it can get, riding every riff on into its heated core. Is it fate that these two institutions got hooked up with one another, or just downright proper? Both, I suppose. Sold out from the label (understandably) but do seek elsewhere. Ultra win.