Friday, 7 August 2015

TUNA de TIERRA ~ EPisode I:Pilot.....Italian desert groovers release EP

Stoner/desert rock has always had on the flip side of its coin a more ambient, expansive and experimental side, a side that sees big fat E chords swapped for gentle arpeggios, walls of fuzz for swathes of colour, brutality for beauty. For every Fu Manchu there is a Colour Haze, for every Monster Magnet a Sungrazer. Let us not forget though that coins also have edges and that is where you will find Italian groovsters Tuna de Tierra.

"EPisode I: Pilot", the debut EP from Italy's Tuna de Tierra, may only be three tracks long but what you get for your money is well worth the investment.
The EP begins with "Red Sun" a slow burning atmospheric number that opens with a gorgeous, laid back, wah flecked, drone like guitar motif that is then joined by the bass and drums, opening the way for the sublime vocals to follow. Alessio De Cicco's voice is a thing of beauty, clean, melodic and with a mildly grunge/alt type tone and delivery, his voice floats and flows over the music, enhancing the sound beneath him with a smooth power. Around the 3:15 mark the dynamic changes and the initial riff is ramped up a notch or two,  pedals are stamped on and things get a little more gnarly and show that as well as delivering the beauty the band can deliver the fuzz too.
"Ash" is next up and for me is the best of the three tracks on offer. Heavier and slightly more "stoner" than "Red Sun" "Ash" really highlights the contributions of  Luciano Mirra (bass) and Jonathan Maurano (drums), Mirra's bass throbbing and rumbling, filling the gaps left by De Cicco's guitar (yes he also plays guitar) with wonderful four string dexterity while Maurano pounds out a solid wall of percussion, pushing and driving the music from behind his drumstool, powerful and manic one minute, gentle and intricate the next. De Cicco's guitar playing is as impressive as his voice and on "Ash" he excels pulling huge swathes of psychedelic colour from his six strings and embellishing those colours with clever use of effects and pedals to add layers of sonic texture. Stunning stuff
Final track "El Paso de la Tortuga" is classic desert rock, you can almost feel the sand beneath your feet and see the sun bleached bones as you listen. Maurano lays down a wonderful hand played conga beat over which De Cisso lays a languid laid back vocal, embellished with reverb/echo soaked guitar colouring while Mirra holds the bottom end down with some gentle clean bass.
Moody, majestic and a nice way to conclude a very promising debut from a very good band.

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