Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Chilean Fuzz Compilation (album review)

Cover artwork by Christian Spencer (Barbara & Los Rotos Del Rock)
I've never been to Chile, nor do I know too much about the country.  I know it's a narrow strip of land along the southwestern edge of the South American continent bordered to the east by the Andes mountain.  I know they speak Spanish there and it's been my personal experience that they are intelligent people and that they are good people.  Well, I would swear after hearing this compilation of all Chilean stoner, punk and garage rock bands that the entire country is growing up to the knees with fuzz.  As one walks down the street, around the hillside or up the river, one need only dip one's hand down to bring up a handful of the stuff.  It must float in the air like dandelion spores.  I don't know much but the main export of Chile appears to be fuzz.

21 songs (many of them previously unknown) and just a smidgeon under 80 minutes, this thing rocks hard from beginning to end and shakes, rattles and rolls with fuzz.  Chinaski kicks things off in groovy style with an excellent slow slidey and bendy stoner riff packed with power.  We could call this style of music the area of focus for this compilation as most of these bands fall under the stoner umbrella.  Some are slower, some are fuzzier, some are groovier than others but they all pack a wallop.  Bruto is a favorite new discovery, they fall under the fuzzier category. Lisergico is another fantastic band with a psychedelic bent, a terrific mindbending number.  Piedraseca is still another beautiful discovery, their track "Shine" is an often demented but always funky number, and a true highlight.  "Give me the SHIIIIINE!".  Sweet, that's just some of the first couple of tracks.

The Suicide Bitches are another nice discovery, delving into a punkier territory first explored on this comp. by El Cairo and Barbara & Co.  Theirs is a strong mix of uptempo rhythms and asphyxiating fuzz.  Invitado de Piedra is another of my brand new favorite bands discovered on 'Chilean Fuzz'.  Their song "La Herida" is more menacing than a lavalanche in slow motion (no that's not a typo).  DemonAuta then steps up to the plate and ups the fuzz ante even further.  It's interesting to hear the 'familiar' bands in this context.  It creates perspective on not only how great DemonAuta, At Devil Dirt and Barbara & Los Rotos Del Rock are but also how excellent their countrymen are as well.  El Camino serves up some slow burning fuzz with some psychedelic moments.  Nothing special, just another fantastic song is all.  Acido and Perro Loco spin things in a decidedly aggressive direction followed by Chevy whose punky fuzz funk is a real juggernaut.

The mind reels at the number of great bands on this compilation as it becomes clear that Chile can challenge Finland, Sweden, New England and Portland for the highest number of terrific regional bands per capita.  Everybody has a treasure, some tangible 'thing' they'd like to find in the woods or wherever.  For most people, it's a sack of money, for others the treasure may be the woods themselves.  'Chilean Fuzz' is like stumbling upon that treasure.

Three of the bands on this collection have been featured on PH before; At Devil DirtDemonAuta and Barbara y Los Rotos Del Rock and that was as much Chilean rock as I had been previously familiar with.  These, I suppose, are the big name bands from the Chilean underworld.  But thanks to this compilation bands like Chinaski, Lisergico, Chevy, Piedraseca, Gasa, Bruto and El Camino can no longer slip under the radar.  This collection was put together by Christian Spencer, the multi-talented producing, composing guitarist for Barbara & Los Rotos Del Rock, so we have him to thank for bringing these bands to our collective attention.

Listening to this is like having revelation after revelation.  An 80 minute epiphany.  So many great bands, many of them previously unknown to me, that it makes the head swim.  If nothing else this compilation provided me with an avalanche of homework, digging into bands, being inundated with stray tracks, EPs and full albums.  It's homework that I don't mind doing, not at all.  After hearing this compilation you'd think fuzz grows on trees down old South America way.

Highlights include: "Acido" by Lisergico and "Shine" by Piedraseca

Rating: 5/5

Total Run Time: 1:19:43

From: Chile, South America

Genre: Stoner, Fuzz Rock, Psychedelic, Garage

Release Date: January 28, 2013

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Put on your straw hat, get out the old line and rod and go fishing for fuzz!

Better Review:
Stoner Hive

Chilean Fuzz on facebook


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