A 70s throwback with the sideburns to prove it, Mopar Mountain Daredevils create a swirling thicket of heavy psychedelia that has more to do with stoner metal than any current psychedelic rock trends. But where loud bands with less songwriting talent or imagination settle down with the almighty riff, Mopar Bloody Mopar remains unhinged throughout, careening from one passage to the next, never looking back.
That’s not to say they’re the most innovative band out there, the sounds on the EP are mostly well-worn, time-tested winners, but what they lack in ground-breaking ideas they make up for in chaotic rumble. The first thing that hits you on Mopar Bloody Mopar is how crisply the guitar effects pan out of the speakers, almost glistening, and in sharp contrast to the acid bath of rhythm lurking underneath. It is almost as though someone took rhythm tracks from a long lost 70s heavy metal band, and grafted beautiful spiraling fractals of guitar wank onto them in a thick-knit fabric woven of modern technology and 40 year old psych aesthetics. Like the best Sabbath albums, Mopar Mountain Daredevils’ heaviness always comes caked in an irresistible sludge. The riffs don’t pound so much as they wallow, with very little clearly defined at first listen. Bits and pieces peek through like glimpses of some half-witnessed swamp thing.
“Mopar Bloody Mopar” begins on a Kyuss-like intro riff, but quickly loses its heaviness to washes of noise, suffocated on the verses and chorus. Even though that bass figure repeats for a good portion of the song, it’s usually so obscured it’s the third or fourth thing you notice. “Yeti Stomp” practices the same kind of deconstruction as “Mopar Bloody Mopar,” beginning with the informative, declarative bursts of staccato notes, and the promise of a riff that is quickly effaced by the swirling mix. All 4 songs on this EP forsake structure in favor of amps-turned-up-to-11 style noise that would have been right at home on old Sabbath album, but the last track alone, “Tiger’s Pause” has the greatest range, at times acquiring a doomed sense of quietude as the band languish on a nine-minute death-trip.
The whole EP sounds like it might have been recorded on top of a Himalayan peak, with space and wind being the dominant elements of the effects board. The longer songs are interesting, but I bet are more exciting live than on record, occasionally lapsing into mindless, ritualistic jams. Excess has been the norm with psych bands, but the effect is for the album to fade out, strangely becoming more minimalistic as the songs get longer, and the beast settles back into the murk.
An engaging debut from a promising band.
Label: El Suprimo
Release date: Mar 26 2009
- Mopar Bloody Mopar
- Yeti Stomp
- Tiger’s Pause
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