Desert Psychlist has never been to Poland but given the heaviness of the music that spews forth from many of its underground rock bands it would be easy to imagine it to be an intense place populated by bearded denim and leather clad hairy's swigging from vodka bottles while composing odes to old gods on weird shaped guitars. Of course Poland is not at all like that, it has a broad and diverse music scene just like any other country and its people are just as normal as you and us (if we can class ourselves as normal) it just seems sometimes that the music emanating from the Polish underground rock scene seems to sound just so much heavier and just so much more intense than anywhere else in the world.Taxi Caveman hail from Warsaw, Poland and consist of Bartosz Nauman - (bass/vocals); Piotr Rutkowski (guitar/vocals) and Vincent Grabb (drums/vocals), they are a trio who jam grooves that blend furious stoner metal with elements of punk, sludge, doom. psych and classic rock that is then decorated in a variety of vocal tones, it is not what you would call an atypical Polish sound but it does carry all those traits of heaviness and intensity we have come to expect from that part of Eastern Europe. The band have just released their self titled debut "Taxi Caveman" (Piranha Music)
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Those elements of psych and classic rock we spoke of in our intro piece do not make their presence felt on opening track "Building With Fire" but the rest of those elements most certainly do, the band hitting into a groove, just a few BPM's below thrash tempo, that sees both bassist and guitarist dialling their fuzz pedals all the way to eleven to create a raucous noise pushed hard by incessant and solid drumming which is then coated in a mixture of sludge like roars and throaty growls. For their next song, "I, The Witch" Taxi Caveman opt for a raucous proto- metal dynamic spliced with stoner metal/sludge overtones around which they apply a mixture of harsh and clean vocal tones, the clincher though has to be the totally insane guitar solo that erupts just before the song signs out, a solo that has all the hallmarks of great classic rock and blues solos of the past but is played at what can only be described as breakneck speed. "Prisoner" follows and has a bluesy doomic vibe and boasts a superb ear catching melody delivered in clean semi-monotonic tones, Rutkowski excels himself here by laying down an achingly emotional, but slightly dissonant, solo around which Nauman and Grabb lay down a restrained and tasteful rhythmic backdrop. "Asteroid" mixes its punk with its sludge to create a cocktail of furious and raucous groove that should carry a Government health warning while penultimate track "426" finds the band easing off the gas just a little (but not a lot) to bring us an instrumental jam packed with searing lead breaks and a modicum of psychedelic colourings. "Empire of the Sun" brings things to a close and is, for Desert Psychlist, the albums best song, its slightly funky groove is decorated with clean melodic vocal harmonies that have an almost "Caravanserai" era Santana-ish feel, a feel that is further enhanced by Grabb and Nauman laying out on a jazzy psych/desert fusion groove to allow Rutkowski free rein to release his inner guitar hero and take things way out there his guitar dominating proceedings but not in a ego-tripping look at what i can do way his choices of notes and voicings are considered and tasteful and are played within the song rather than over it, a stunning piece of music.
Taxi Caveman are not a doom band, a sludge band or a punk band but at the same time they are all those things, they are a rock band who can turn their hands to all of rocks various forms and styles and do so while still managing to sound fresh and original. Taxi Caveman have great musical chops and on this their debut album they display those chops to great effect across a wide spectrum of styles, where these guys take their music next is going to be very interesting indeed.
Check 'em out .....