Maggot Brain – Land – 4.5/5
I think its no coincidence that I spend more time looking for rock classics from the past than I do trying to navigate the present, as something fairly impressive has happened this last decade: rock musicians have forgotten how to play. Lumbered with badly sung whiny frontmen and three chord wonders, or perhaps a reunion of musicians trying to remember how they managed to rock so hard in the glory days, in either case the result is rarely good, and its with releases such as this that you can’t help but crack a smile and give a small internal cheer that there are still artists holding down the fort.
Now I must confess after the manner things kicked off before, the opening track had me a little worried as it’s a lot slower paced than much of the album. Despite being one of the albums highlights, boasting an impressive emotion-laden chorus that’ll stay with you for weeks, it comes unexpectedly. These Spaniards have disappeared for 5 years since ‘Second Chance’ but it doesn’t feel as though they’ve been twiddling their thumbs; everything feels more polished, more mature. From the greatest southern rock solo since Skynyrd’s ‘Free Bird’ in ‘Birds in the Head’ to the stoner grooves in ‘Beggars House,’ they’ve not just matched their previous efforts but done it in a gloriously diverse style.
It is the attack of the four guitars that drive this release, able to afford the versatility of an acoustic, rhythm, lead and a bass all working together, or even provide a duelling lead solo with plenty of backing still behind them. The drums maintain the beat with an often simplistic vivacity that whilst rarely feeling overtly technical or frantic, never quite seem content doing the bare minimum, all finished off by the vocals capable of presenting his hard hitting pulsating rhythms that remain addictive whether being played for the first time or the fifteenth. It is this simple musical formula that has played to a standard that hasn’t felt this fresh for decades, and all this is neglecting the tasteful little touches; the occasional use of keyboards, backing chorus’ and trumpets adding a little bit more of a flavour to the insatiable southern grooves.
The production is immaculate to reflect all this, which is no easy feat with such a quantity of tracks to mix together; the vocals soaring over the many intertwined guitar lines and the drums allowing for every strike to read loud and clear, never drowning out the rest of the instruments with their cymbals. Sure, there are little issues to be nitpicked; the occasional distinct accent from the vocalist, or the perhaps questionable track order (opening with a ballad, and having many of the strongest tracks early on), but when the result is of such a high standard it doesn’t matter. How they haven’t garnered appeal outside of the native country remains a mystery to me as they have demonstrated once again their abilities above and beyond much of the competition. In the days where rock looks like its on its last legs, it is bands like this that remind us that there is still hope yet.
Highlights: Awake, Birds in the Head, Long Distance Call, Land
Pending an international release, details to order direct from the artist will be added at the bottom. Alternatively you can purchase through itunes here, and/or listen to their last album, Second Chance, reviewed here
"Whoever they may prefer to take care LAND copies you want and we will send by courier. The procedure is simple:
1.- Make us know your address, name and number of copies you want through this email:email@example.com
2.- I contestarmos to your mail with one in which you indicarmos the account number of the group and enter the totalamount.
3.- We do the income by the amount stipulated in that account and that the concept especifiquéis your name and "Order Land" will be enough to count him as proof.
4.- I send copies of LAND that you have requested by mail.
The price mail order is:
- Albums: 12 Ã ¢ â € šÃ ¬ per unit (regular price on the street).
- Shipping: 3 Ã ¢ â € šÃ ¬ per order of 1 or 2discs. For orders just add (for full weight of the package).
The consignment is always certified by what might happen at the post.
Moreover, we will send your order as soon confirm the transfer, but the delivery time may vary a few days depending on what it takes to be effective and also depending on time taken to post on their arduous and complex task.
FOR ANY QUESTIONS do not hesitate to contact us via the same e-mail I listed above.
Over the years this has grown into my own personal project, reviewing the artists that I discover and interest me. If you wish to see more of my work, particularly my more metal-orientated material, you can find me as a regular contributor for the online magazine
Posted by T. Bawden Saturday, 26 December 2009
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I’ve actually just translated this with google. Basically, its 12 euro’s and 3 to get it delivered, though I expect orders outside of Spain would be higher. I’m sure they wont mind if you email them asking.