Saturday 13 July 2013

Borracho - Oculus - Review

Oculus cover art

Borracho is a Hard Rock/Stoner Metal band from Washington DC, USA

The members are:

Steve - Vocals/Lead Guitar
Tim - Bass
Mario - Drums

Riff-meisters Borracho made an impression with everyone back in 2011 with their critically lauded debut album – Splitting Sky. An album that I raved very highly about back in 2011. Its blend of sublime riffs and grizzled vocals to match made the album an outright classic in my humble opinion.

Well a lot has changed since 2011 mainly vocalist Noah has left the band for pastures new. However, to the bands credit they decided to stay together and lead guitarist Steve is now the lead singer. Was it a wise decision? You betcha. Instead of a hard rocking quartet, Borracho are now a finely tuned riff slaying power-trio.

They still have the riffs and the tunes to back their immense talent. Their new album – Oculus – features five songs and runs for an action packed 36 minutes. There are riffs galore from beginning to end all played with hunger and passion. Borracho are a band reborn and it shows in their excellent new album.

I thought I would miss Noah’s grizzly hard-edged vocals but Steve makes the lead singer role his own. First track – Empty – is a riff-laiden monster of a track. Starting with sublime fuzz based psych riffs that shows Borracho have lost none of their magic. It is a great start to the album. Perfect Stoner Metal riffs to see how out those long hot summer nights. And Borracho are the perfect band to relax to for all us Stoner Metal fans. Just unwind and embrace the power of the almighty riff. Though Steve will wake you around the 5-minute mark when the first vocals appear. This dude can sing. He has some real power behind him. Not just a talented guitarist but also a great vocalist to boot.

2nd track – Know The Score – is another blazing 7-minute plus epic which like the title says you will definitely know the score with Borracho. Riffs, Riffs, Riffs and more riffs. All done through the power of Hard Rock and Stoner Metal. Steve’s vocals start to shine here and the band is tighter than ever before. Borracho even mange to include a healthy dose of Blues Rock for good measure. This song is Stoner Metal for the soul. It will bring a huge smile to your face.

Next, we come to the albums centrepiece. The 10:46 minute epic – Stockpile. This is where Borracho throw caution to the wind and play some of their strongest riffs to date. Steve’s vocals take a more direct approach matching the finely tuned fuzz based instrumental work going on around him. It also helps that Borracho have written some superb hard-rocking lyrics to sing-along to as well. But remember folks this is a long 10 minute plus track which never ever outstays its welcome. To tell you the truth the track just flies by. It displays more of Borracho’s talent of writing amazing riffs. Though I must say the other members of the band come into their own on this track. Drumming and bass playing is simply exceptional here.

4th track – Eye – is a 2:03 minute distorted drone based Rock track to show Borracho’s more experimental side of things. And it works really well. I was expecting a slow to mid-paced breather here but nope Borracho decided to go all guns blazing here and put a distorted loud rock track. Very brave thing to do.

5th track – I’ve Come For It All – is where the band has 8:14 final minutes to actually convert you to the newer, leaner and meaner version of Borracho. It is a fast-paced affair, which sees the guys not wasting a single second of their immense talent. Southern-based rock riffs are the main order of business but still maintaining their hard-edged groove based Stoner Metal sound. This is what power-trio’s were made for. Songs like this to show what each member brings to the table. And members definitely play their own part here. Another hard-rocking classic from the Borracho gang. It does not disappoint for one second and ends the album on an almighty high.

So what more can I say about Oculus. It is a triumph on every level. It more than matches the power and vibe of their excellent debut album – Splitting Sky. Borracho have created another masterpiece here. That is two out of two. A sign of a very great band indeed. Watch this album soar. Oculus will further enhance the reputation of this already brilliant band. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up on a few best of 2013 lists like it’s predecessor. It has already made my best of 2013 list.

Absolutely Brilliant. End Of.

Oculus will be available to buy on Digital Download and Vinyl from July 17th 2013. Thanks to the guys for sending me a copy to review.

Check The Band From The Links Below.