Desert Psychlist held back a little from reviewing Instant Boner's latest album, "High Place Phenomenon", owing to the fact that having covered so many albums and EP's released by Greek bands lately we didn't want you to start to think that we were being overly biased in favour of one country. So since a decent period of time has passed since our last review of a Greece based band and having lived with this eclectic gem for a while now (its been on almost constant rotation at Stonerking Towers), we thought it was now the right time to put a few words down to explain its appeal.
Having decided it was time to review Instant Boner's new album we are now faced with the problem of putting into words why this is such a superb release, this is something that is not going to be easy as "High Place Phenomenon" does not fall into any easily recognizable categories or pigeonholes. Jazzy, bluesy, lysergic, heavy, ambient and even funky are terms that all could be applied to the songs that populate this remarkable album and some of those elements can even turn up together in just one song! There have been a few major upheavals in the bands line up since their last album "Outburst" the most notable being the replacement of original vocalist Kostas with that of present vocalist Marianthi, a move that has seen the band shifting slightly away from the rockier aspects of their previous work and embracing a more eclectic approach that suits their new singers more broader vocal range. Fans of Orestis's contributions to Instant Boner's sound will also rejoice to hear that on "High Place Phenomenon" the saxophinist takes a much more prominent role, no longer just bolstering the rhythm section with his blowing but also flying free with the guitarists as a soloist in his own right. As for songs this is a band with tunes to spare, tunes like "Big Bang", crunching riffs and punchy rhythms offset by a lilting jazz-fusion flavoured mid-section, " Desert Hills", a funky hard rocker that goes off on unexpected tangents into blues territory and "Mid Air" an achingly beautiful torch song totally taken to another level by Marianthi's emotive and heart felt vocal.. For the albums finale Instant Boner revive one of their best cuts from their first album, ("Perfect Sunday"), appropriately entitled "Perfect Sunday Revisited", this was a huge and impressive song with Kostas at the helm but with Marianthi taking on the vocals the dynamic is completely altered, where before the song leant towards trippy and lysergic this time around it turns into shape shifting behemoth that erupts, quells and erupts again. This version finds Marianthi channeling a little Beth Gibbons (Portishead) like vocal huskiness in some sections while in others she wails wordlessly like an ethereal banshee over grooves that are constantly changing tact, one minute languid and loose the next complex and intense. At just over twenty one minutes long you might be fooled into thinking that the band might be overplaying their hand and maybe this song could have been compressed into a shorter duration but such is the quality of its individual performances and the songs constantly shifting dynamics and hypnotic nature you will hardly notice any time has passed at all.