Thursday 28 November 2013

Miss Lava - Red Supergiant (Album Review)

Album Type :  Full Length
Date Released : 23/7/2013
Label : Small Stones Recordings

Red Supergiant, album track listing :

1). Desert Mind 04:05
2). Lay Down 03:33
3). Feel My Grace 03:15
4). Ride 04:11
5). Crawl 03:32
6). Hole To China 04:50
7). Catch The Fire 03:24
8). Murder Of Crows 03:45
9). Motel Neon 03:45
10). Yesterday's Gone 04:24
11). Red Supergiant 03:55

Bio :

2013 looks to be the year in which the country of Portugal will finally score a significant footprint on the global stoner rock map, thanks to Lisbon's self-described “authentic rock’n'roll disaster band”…

…Miss Lava to you.

Not that the quartet comprised of vocalist Johnny Lee, guitarist K. Raffah, bassist S. Rebelo and drummer J. Garcia, was born just yesterday.

In fact, Miss Lava has been snapping guitar strings, bashing drum skins, and tearing shins across the floorboards of European stages for half a decade already; having inaugurated their recording endeavors with a self-titled, blood-red vinyl EP in 2008, and quickly followed with their debut full-length album, Blues for the Dangerous Miles, towards the end of 2009.

These precocious portents of pulverizing power – fueled by more mega-riffs than Portugal had spawned since at least the inquisition – quickly gained Miss Lava domestic recognition via Loud Magazine, which named …Dangerous Miles one of the year’s top 5 Portuguese records, backed up by its readers, who also voted them one of the country’s top 5 bands.

2010 also witnessed the group’s first international forays via two UK tours, which were followed in August of 2011 with a show at Los Angeles’ historic Whisky a Go Go, and, in late 2012, the announcement of a globe-spanning deal with Detroit’s Small Stone Records that will see the release of Miss Lava’s sophomore album, Red Supergiant, in March 2013.
The Band :

Johnny Lee | Vocals
J. Garcia | Drums
K. Raffah | Guitars
S. Rebelo | Bass

Review :

From the outset, this band is definitely out to rock you brain and mind with fully fledged Stoner grooves. ‘Desert Mind’ kicks off with a classic stoner riff that gets your feet stompin’ in no time. The vocals are killer throughout. There’s a clever rhythm change in the bridge that lets the listener know that these guys aren’t just trying to rehash the tried and tested formula, but shake it to its core. ‘Lay Down’ follows this with a similar vibe until the bluesy middle section, before pummelling once more with those big riffs. ‘Feel My Grace’ starts with a very cool groovy riff that sounds like it would be an immediate crowd pleaser in a live setting. Johnny Lee’s vocals are once again very complimentary to the groove laden music underneath.

‘Ride’ picks up the tempo with a flat out riff assault before easing up dynamically in the verse. The chorus is full of energy which again sounds like it would slay live. K. Raffah’s guitar tone is spot on for this brand of stoner rock, which culminates in a tasty lead break near the song’s end.

By track five, it’s clear that Miss Lava is all about bringing the big riff vibe. ‘Crawl’ is another excellent song that is full of energy. There are some tasteful dynamic breaks which allow the bass some breathing space. But it is ‘Hole to China’ where the bass breaks free more so, permitting some more psychedelic guitar textures to be explored, whilst retaining the bluesy stoner atmosphere. The song is a beast which unfurls its claws as it goes on.

The song writing on ‘Catch The Fire’, ‘Murder Of Crows’, and ‘Motel Neon’ follows Miss Lava’s high standards, as any fan of the genre would find heaps of inspiration here. The drumming throughout the whole album is great; pounding away, keeping those rock solid grooves grounded. The album’s penultimate track is ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ which has an uplifting ambiance, at the same time as being crushingly heavy. The song culminates in a fully-fledged riff fest. The title track ‘Red Supergiant’ closes the album perfectly, slowing down the riff roller-coaster to discover more psychedelic tones, relaxing the listener after the riff induced hysteria that preceded it. A perfect end to a thoroughly enjoyable album!

Please check out this band, highly recommended for fans of the Stoner Rock genre!

Words by : James Thorne

You can buy it here

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