Wednesday 19 November 2014

RoadKillSoda - Yo No Hablo Ingles (Album Review)

Roadkillsoda - Yo No Hablo Ingles

Album Type: Album
Date Released: 23rd October 2014
Label: Universal Music Romania

Yo No Hablo Ingles – Track Listing

1. As Black As My Lungs
2. What I've Become
3. Greet The Devil With A Grin
4. Wrong
5. Cruel Conscience
6. Old
7. A Ship That Sinks
8. Eyes of Emerald
9. Dead Calm
10. Slept So Long
11. No Time To Die
12. Weight
13. Sky Roads
14. Empty Skies
15. Moonlight Blues
16. Say Hello And Wave Goodbye
17. Ghosts
18. Yo No Hablo Ingles


RoadkillSoda is the reflection of the 70s American hawk, of the dusty Dodge, ragged T-shirts, tattoos, beards, booze, naked chicks and good vibes. The group started off as a jam session between Mihnea’s guitar and Para’s drums in the winter of 2010-2011, in a cold, dimly-lit room filled with smoke and music blasting through the walls.

And so, the stoner, sludge, psychedelic and rock’n’roll sounds fusion would become RoadkillSoda, a fresh, intense and unconventional project. Vava, Mihnea’s brother form the same mother, promptly took the, often underestimated, role of the bass player, adding a dirty bass sound that does not go unnoticed. As spontaneous as the entire project, the debut EP "A Fucked Up Trip Gone Bad" pops up, basically live recording from the rehearsal room and was released in 2011, via Asiluum label.

In 2012, Sebi joins Mihnea, Para and Vava in their journey. The band consequently assumes, without compromises, its ideal form and color – a metamorphosis fuelled by the sound, atmosphere and by the people on stage and in front of it.

In less than a year, the band wrote, recorded and produced the first official album. “Oven Sun” embodies the experiences of a man who wakes up in the middle of nowhere, bound to wonder and to take in both the good and the bad. From mirages and oasis to the burning sun and the endless desert, the album envisages RoadkillSoda’s metaphor of life. The “happy-end” is depicted through sorrow, despair and bleak scenarios carried out with a mask displaying a caddish grin, an attitude that fittingly sums up “Oven Sun” by one line – “F**k’em with a smile”.


Sebastian Stancu "The Colonel" - vox;
Mihnea Ferezan "Panda Elixir" - gtrs;
Victor "Vava" Ferezan - bass;
Alex Para Ghita "Raptor America" - drums


Yo No Hablo Ingles” is RoadKillSoda’s sophomore album and it’s presented in not one but two parts, which is no small feat for a band that’s barely three years old. The front cover is graced with a female Dia de los Muertos doll who has seen the wrong side of good and the bad side of up. She’s holding three cards in her hand and sitting back with an air of confidence that she’ll win the pot once the river hits. The front cover is very descriptive of what the next two hours are going to bring, matching the vibe, attitude, and swagger of the songs that RoadKillSoda serve up.

Disc one is a collection of songs that channels a dusty Kyuss vibe laced with a vocal delivery similar to that of Scott Weiland. The songs sound slower than they should be, which helps you lose perspective of time, treating it like a yo-yo. Occasionally you’ll be thrown forward or pulled back, but for the most part you’re being held in a sleeper, waiting in anticipation for that push or pull moment. This slow trudge is driven by a guitar tone that I can only describe as the shades of purple, turquoise, and yellow that have been used in the artwork. In itself, disc one is a solid album from front to back and fits in just fine with the other bands that Europe has to offer in this genre.

I’d be slightly disappointed with this double album if disc two were more the same but luckily that’s not the case. Disc two is the moment that RoadKillSoda uses to break loose from their stoner strut, adding more melody and not being ashamed of experimenting with their grunge influence. There’s still a definite Kyuss feel on songs like “No Time to Die,” but the band is trying to use this as a stepping stone towards something else, something that’s slightly cinematic. A cut like “Sky Roads” is fantastic, as though the band has been contracted to write the soundtrack to a David Lynch movie. It’s catchy yet there’s an ominous feeling that something is off. The next couple of songs continue down this path and then things really take a strange turn with the final track, “Yo No Hablo Ingles.” For ten minutes long RoadKillSoda jams out a Mariachi tune and uses this to tie the album together. It sure is a daring move, and though unexpected, it is the river that our Dia de los Muertos doll was looking for.

Sure, the band wears their influences on their sleeve but the way they mix them together makes for an interesting listen. This music has attitude and swagger, like being able to pull off wearing sunglasses on a cloudy day. They have a little something extra to them and the fact that they’re able to stay focused for a double album is a sign that they’re accomplished musicians. In short, RoadKillSoda rocks.

Words by: Victor van Ommen

Yo No Hablo Ingles is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from here. CD/DD formats are available to buy from all good stockists.

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