This Portuguese stoner-rock outfit has actually been on my radar for quite some time, ever since they sent me a copy of their first CD back in ’09. (And yes, they still sent physical copies in those days!) Since then, they’ve opened for some big-name bands in their home country, played a few major fests in Europe, and released a second album that I still haven’t heard. They were actually scheduled to play NXNE a few years ago, until funding from some Portuguese association fell through. But hey, the release of third album Sonic Debris on Small Stone should significantly boost their profile on this side of the pond… so perhaps a gig at one of the few remaining Portuguese bars around Dundas and Ossington is in their future?
Featuring 10 tracks of solid tunes that channel all the masters, Sonic Debris comes grooving up slowly, with an extended buildup to begin leadoff track “Another Beast is Born.” It takes about a minute for the desert-rock riffs to kick in, delivered with a fistful of California fuzz. Vocals are mellow and drenched in reverb, removing any traces of an accent. Big catchy chorus that recalls Alice in Chains.
“The Silent Ghost of Doom” has an intense spoken word intro, leading us into a much faster number than its predecessor, with hard-driving grooves reminiscent of Fu Manchu. “I’m the Asteroid” packs a few heavy Sabbathian riffs into seven-and-a-half minutes of space rock a la Monster Magnet, while “At the End of the Light” is a nice, slow burner that borders on traditional doom.
There are shades of The Shrine on “Symptomatic,” while the drum fills on the atmospheric “Fangs of Venom” recall Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” before it takes a more Sabbathian twist a la “Hole in the Sky.” There’s definitely no jacket required on this track!
Against all odds, Miss Lava has gone into the su-su-studio to tell both sides of the story on this release. And that’s the last time you’ll see me making Phil Collins references on this site… I hope. 😛