For the record, I have absolutely no idea what Roadkill Soda what tastes like. It’s probably more so a job best left for apocalyptic sci-fi writers or Bethesda, developers of the Fallout video game franchise honestly. But if I had to put money on it, I’d wager it doesn’t taste like a psychedelic hard rock outfit from Bucharest, Romania. Luckily for them, they don’t sound like the carcass of a roadside mammal being forced into a smoothie too. Their music has a real grit, like two tonnes of sand-scattered asphalt level grit, but because they are able to stray into fuzzy guitar experimentalism that the 60’s popularised, their combined musical vehicle rides as smooth as the surface it drives on. Fitting then that their first studio album Oven Sun recollects the sunshine-emblazoned stretches of road, that a top down motor built for speed and a carefully masterminded mixtape were made for. Towards the album’s close is Upside Down, which sounds not to dissimilar in nature to pushing the plunger on dynamite in a canyon: dangerous and staggeringly loud, but ultimately satisfying and incredibly thrilling to witness all the same. The cavalcade of riffs and grooves that these gentlemen are capable of, not just in the period of a song, but in the timescale of a studio long-player, is undoubtedly their greatest strength and it is only set to expand and evolve into their sophomore release, out earlier this year. There’s a lot to enjoy here, a well-blended mix of hard rock hammer blows, softened by a relaxing approach to their craft that makes it all the more appropriate for the last sunsets of summer. Roadkill Soda? Sure, I’ll take two if it tastes this good.
Oven Sun is available from their Bandcamp page for a respectable price, and follow up Yo No Hablo Ingles is available from select music retailers.
Better get a beverage of choice and get comfortable for this one. This is by far the longest song you’ll have heard on this blog. But in the best of ways, as a two part space epic absolutely cram filled with unique musical and cultural ideas that keep this a truly fascinating listen. Comparisons to the works of Hawkwind, Pink Floyd and the heydays of krautrock have all been ushered to these four (now three) Croatian gentlemen, but the first part of 46 minute long St Anthony’s Fire, reminded me a little more of Ozric Tentacles, at least from the psychedelic scale of their music. While somewhat of an extended jam, the influences from Balkan and Oriental scales and dipping into jazz territories, even classical compositions at times, keep a gorgeous constant flow throughout the unbelievably tight evolution of both pieces. Electronics haze, phase, swirl and whirl in and out of multi-textural guitar exhibitionism, pace changing as quickly as British weather thanks to an insane drum performance, but there is never a lull in its running time. Consistently exciting from beginning to end, music oft doesn’t sound so free and unrestricted by traditional music conventions, and that what makes Fjodor and St. Anthony’s Fire from 2013 a stroke of genius from a band of phenomenally talented musicians.
St. Anthony’s Fire is readily available from the band’s Bandcamp page, whereas their previous work is much more difficult to come across, so research is definitely needed to unearth that.
Some of the best kinds of music ensnare you for a listening experience unlike any other. Pink Floyd. Mastodon. Ozric Tentacles, if you know of them, just to name a few. Minnesota’s Maeth take cues in what makes these three bands world class songwriters, yet are very much their own unique beast, with extra emphasis on the beast. What you’re getting is a progressive metal band that are unafraid to take their music above and beyond tired barriers. The entirety of 2012’s Horse Funeral EP is one song broken into five segments in which the title track here, goes on as much as a flight as the rest of the album. Starting in space almost, sludge mode engages for an impressive show of strength and a surprisingly catchy riff, colliding head on with excellent off-kilter drums. The soundscape is then hushed into a repetition of that riff, supported by a gentle touch of bass before an ethereal flute takes hold of the proceedings. See, progressive music doesn’t get that spiritual sounding nowadays, but these gentlemen can take it there or wherever they please, as their near-leagues below sea level depth is astounding. Maeth aren’t musicians, they’re dreamweavers. Whether that’s a psychedelic tour of space, or a terrifying avalanche solely to crush, they deserve to breach their cult status as one of progressive metal’s most exciting new bands.
The Horse Funeral EP was only the beginning. Please go check out their 2013 album Oceans Into Ashes on their Bandcamp, as it expands the groundwork covered here into a fully-fledged masterpiece.