Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Album Review - Summer Bacchanalia - 'Volume II'

 Summer Bacchanalia are a three piece psychedelic 'jam' band hailig from Italy, that deal in experimental , improvisational sonic  wanderings, that invoke the early days of the psyche movement in their rough and ready ,and indeed heady,  sound.'Volume II' is a five song collection , completely improvised, and recorded live in one take.Considering this then, it's not a bad piece of work at all , but not exactly earth shattering stuff either.

First song 'Bass Song is a self explanatory , bass led affair, with some nice use of delays and a decent enough central riff, but , and this is pretty much representative of the bulk of 'Volume II',it goes pretty much nowhere, the band content to plough their lo fi grooves ad nauseam rather than try anything wildly imaginative.'Dark Mountain ' fares better, a  lovely Kyuss -esque over driven melodic bass riff that builds into a satisfyingly noisy  low end stomper.'Deva Mountain ' is a pleasingly ethereal, monged out effort, with some awesome use of  flanger , and interesting use of 'Eastern' scales.

However, it would be a big stretch to call anything on here truly essential, and this is, at the end of the day, essentially just a jam, that in parts sounds like it was way more fun to play than it is to listen to.The rough and ready production(or lack thereof) , while charming in it's own way, adds nothing really, other than a feel of warmth, but will be a big challenge to the casual listener..There is also very little in the band's chilled repertoire that has not been done before a thousand times, and , although it does feel slightly harsh to say, by musicians far more inventive and resourceful.Still , in age where processed tones and auto tune have become the norm, it is nice to hear something this low key and raw worming it's way through.

For fans of :Eastern Crank, The Whirlings, Engines Of Ruin
Stephen O ' Connor
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