Friday, 31 March 2017
VORTICAL MINDS ~ THE ORANGE BOX ....review
Italy, is a country that trades heavily on all things "retro", Italian movies, fashion, art, motorbikes and cars are all delivered with an eye for the future but with a foot planted firmly in the past, so it comes as no surprise that this trend for making "old" the new "new" extends into the Italian underground music scene too.
Vortical Minds, a trio from Rome consisting of Vule Rodic (bass & vocals), Gianluca Paladino (guitar/backing vocals) and Gianluca Ortu (drums/backing vocals),take their lead from the proto-metal/ hard rock of the likes of Grand Funk Railroad, Beck, Bogart &Appice and Cactus and bring it up to date with the addition of a little 90's fuzz and 00's psych colouring, creating a groove that is both old and new in equal measure, something that becomes glaring obvious when listening to the trio's debut EP "The Orange Box"
"Maybe But Not Today" opens with what can only be described as a "vintage" guitar sound Paladino evoking, through his choice of notes, feel and effects, memories of such six string luminaries as Free's Paul Kossoff and early era Jeff Beck as well as a smattering of those of leser known mortals Buffalo's John Baxter and Blue Cheer's Leigh Stephens. Ortu and Rodic underpin this tsunami of warmly fuzzed riffage with a masterclass in pummelling rhythm, Ortu's thunderous drums dictating the beat while Rodic handles the low end with big booming bass runs and fills as well as providing cool, perfectly delivered vocals.
"I Bought Myself" follows and takes a detour into psychedelic blues country with Paladino chopping out crunching stoner blues refrains then laying out on reverb soaked guitar arpeggios that shimmer and shake over and around Ortu and Rodic's sympathetic jazz tinted psych grooves, the resulting sound recalling, at times, "Hogwash" era Groundhogs. Rodic pours over this heady mix of acid drenched groove a vocal that includes the line "I think I'll buy myself a gun, I think i'll shoot you just for fun" delivering his lyrics in a wonderful mix of whispered, falsetto and cleanly growled vocal tones.
"My Game" sees Vortical Minds going full tilt lysergic with Rodic telling of "walking in the sun, looking for some fun" over a backdrop of liquid bassitude and pounding percussion taken to another level by Paladino's off-kilter slide guitar and clever use of effects.
Final track "Ticking Time" begins with a gnarly Rodic bass motif that is then joined by Ortu's solid pounding drums while in the background Paladino's guitar howls with feral feedback all three then coming together on a grizzly stoner/hard rock groove with Rodic telling us he's "gotta find a doctor, gonna find a cure". before the whole mood shifts and the band take the song to it's conclusion on a wave of gloriously hazy psychedelic instrumental groove.
Hazy, crazy and dripping with lysergic induced imagery "The Orange Box" is full of delights... open it now and check it out....