Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Spotlight:Great Albums You Might Have Missed- Electric Taurus-'Veneralia'

It is often said that in many things, fashion is cyclical.Those flares sitting in your wardrobe you never thought you'd wear again ,in a year from now, suddenly become fashionable again.That moth eaten Motley Crue t-shirt from your glory days huntin' tail in tacky metal bars, becomes an instant Ebay classic(as a child of the nineties, such horrors elude me, though I did own the Spice Girls first album.On cassette.).This rule of repeating  styles and tastes  is one that is especially relevant when considering the current trends permeating the stoner/doom/heavy rock underground.Witness the way bands like Ghost B.C, Graveyard and Uncle Acid are revisiting the heyday of seventies doom and heavy rock, bringing  an air of tongue in cheek theatricality and  fun,  along with a sense of  analogue warmth back to a rock scene burned out on the miserablism of everything post, nu and core. Bands that are barely old enough to remember Top Of The Pops are discovering vintage  Beat Club jams through the magic of YouTube, and digging on their parents vinyl collection with a heretofore unseen hunger for the magic of prime tape and reel. . . .

Which brings us to Irish-Italian-Argentinian outfit Electric Taurus.A ferocious live band, who I've had the privilege of sharing a stage with before as a musician and also viewing as a drunken spectator, the trio dig on the vibes of yesteryear to create a uniquely retrofied but still relevant  take on the doom sound.Opener 'Mountains'  is a prime example, a fantastically understated bass intro from James Lynch segues into a crashing cacophony of drums from Mauro Frison, before  Matt Casciani's tar thick riffing rears its wonderfully red eyed   head, and the band  proceed to freak out in unison in a wonderfully fuzzed up take on a classic doom sound.'A New Moon' is reminiscent of sadly underrated fuzz rock grandfathers Mountain in its monolithic groove, while 'Two Gods Caput Algol' is a fantastically weighty  slice of prime Sabbathian  stomp. The influence of 'Volume 4'  on Taurus' songwriting is evident throughout, a mellow, progressive yet at the same time lean and aggressive approach taken to material that is at times genius in its simplicity. 

The band do display a fondness for more  prog rock elements  throughout as well.The eerie menace of 'Mescalina:If AT The Edge Of The Earth' acts almost like an interlude on the album, some jazzier flourishes from Frison framing a slow-burn freak out from Casciani, a mini odyssey hinting at an affection for  classic psychedelic rock. It also showcases what a subtly  excellent rhythm section Lynch  and Frison are , locked in with each other in the vein of   Butler and Ward or Jones and Bonham, allowing Casciani's   guitar parts room to breath.And they are massive parts, his tone damn near perfect, helped by an array of custom made pedals.This is the heavier side of retro, the parts the revival brigade skip over, the voodoo and evil of classic heavy doom metal.Catch em live, and you'll see what I mean, a crushing, spacey , almost free-form live act, this is something  that, to borrow a Crowbar album title, is sonic excess in it's purest form . .  .

Stephen O' Connor.
Born Again Nihilist.

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