Monday, 4 March 2013
Amaxa - ST (album reviews)
Prominent bass courtesy of Anders Broström and organ via vocalist Erik Broström make for a complete and full-bodied sound. Amaxa are as much a riff heavy band as any on Paranoid Hitsophrenic but they are a band with a difference. Bass and organ are treated as lead instruments while Peter Pedersen's guitar is at times artfully understated. This understatement comes to a quiet boil on the song "Elusive" where it's hard to even distinguish the guitar at times beneath the gridlock of fuzz bass and sixties style organ. Drummer Jimmy Halvarsson is the unsung hero of the band, holding the fort with ease, pumping out beats that perfectly complement the other musicians while never demanding more than a fair share of the spotlight.
Amaxa put their best foot forward on the first two tracks, showcasing their most mouth-watering riffs on front and center display. The band then move into their more garage psych, organ-driven sound on the third track. "Shooting Star" is straight out of some garage from 1960s Wisconsin, the main organ lead perfectly lifted from the day and age of tie-died t-shirts, white guys with afros and mutton chop sideburns. This feeling is revisited fully in album closer, "Afterglow" which is also the name of terrific American sixties band that shares a lot in common with these two tracks. It's a fantastic song that takes many labrynthine twists and turns and ends the album on a very high note. (Afterglow were one of the first underground psychedelic bands from the sixties that I discovered, oh so many years ago, a musical journey that was instrumental in getting me to this point. It's great when everything can come full circle.)
Like any riff worshipping act there is the occasional hint of Black Sabbath that slips in. Rarely has that ubiquitous ghost of Sabbath been raised in this context, mixed with 60s American garage psych outside of Brazil's Necronomicon. The blend is effective, but is not the only point of reference here. Mr. Iommi clinks bottles with the wah boogie funk of Jimi Hendrix on "The Heartache of Philip Marlowe".
Highlights include: "Final Escape" and "Don't Feed"
Total Run Time: 37:35
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Genre: Garage Psych, Boogie Rock, Stoner, Riff Rock
Reminds me of: Afterglow, Deep Purple, Leaf Hound, Mount Carmel, Necronomicon, Nuggets bands of the 1960s, Paisley Underground bands of the 1980s, Please, Three Seasons, Vinum Sabbatum
Release Date: November 2, 2012
Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Lick the acid off another man's jean jacket in a rest room. With a bit of luck, you'll ruin somebody's life.
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