Thursday, March 28, 2013

... CHIVO "Cantankerous Rock" (Album review)

Actually on the road (8 dates between France, Belgium and the Netherlands... check out their fb page for details), CHIVO have just released their new  album "Cantankerous Rock", their 2nd - after 'Swamp of Sounds" which came out three years ago...

CHIVO (goat - in spanish)  is a pretty longtime running band from the  spanish Stoner Rock scene, formed in 2004, the guys know how to craft some great tunes with - if not originality, at least tightness and a great sense of catchiness. Different from MotherSloth (interviewed last week) who is rawer and doomier, the quartet takes more influences in the 90's with the likes of  Kyuss, Nebula and Fu Manchu, not forgetting some softer moments - typical of the alternative Rock of the same years...
A style and sound not particularly suitable to originality, yet there's here a fair proportion of songs that stand out from the pack... but also a couple that are dispensable and to my ears make the album too long (50 minutes).

'Roof TV', 'Drill on the Horn' are both good introductions with warm and fuzzy mid-tempos, thrilling riffage with a very heavy tone, pulsating drums and roaring vocals; they make the album aptly named !

'Yellow Finger' has that special fuzzy and hypnotic tone which you often got the impression to already know, but in fact it is so infectious that you enjoy it as if it was a kinda compost generating a new crushing sound ! 'Eyes Fire Desire' is pretty much of the same kind, just not as crushing but still attacking your senses with gloominess. Finally 'Tarnished Glasses' is a pretty memorable piece of sabbathian Stoner/Doom, it works great like a crisp distillation of plodding grooviness !

'Feed the Show' and 'Jerry Low' (despite the nice apparition of saxo) clearly try to find the good balance between heaviness and mellowness but fail more than less, either too syruppy, too long  or too predictable. Then there's what you could fear, the predictable hit-oriented ballad : 'Falling Away' is rather pointless with clean guitars, charming vocals, etc... I'm sorry guys but for me this brings nothing else than time for go pissing or rolling a new joint !

Both 'Make Things Hard' and 'Rockets on Fire' aren't average moments but sort of bring us back to our problem of predictability or lack of originality if you prefer, even on the long last one (9 minutes) CHIVO would need to be more adventurous, I don't know exactly how but maybe by using more effects, having more psyched-out solos, crazyer and more ferocious vocals according to the moods of their songs...

There's still a good number of very interesting songs which are enough to be convinced by their authentic potential, the glass is (a bit) more than half full but the band should pay more attention next time to make the whole content more cohesive and attractive on the length for the listener... Now listen and make your own opinion ;)

1 comment:

  1. Mathieu van der HertMarch 28, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    The best songs from both their albums would make one great album. Now there are to much "just not" on both albums