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2020-10-02

4 x Necio Records: ANCESTRO, LASTRYKO, LOS ACIDOS and WHITE CANYON & THE 5TH DIMENSION

A new month has begun, so it's time for another collective review, right?

But before we dissect whatever my Bandcamp Friday haul will be made of, let's take a listen at the recent releases from Necio Records, the Peruvian psychedelic music label, which already brought us stuff from Parahelio and Knei earlier this year.

All four of these albums have been released digitally and on beautifully coloured vinyl pressings, Los Acidos also on CD. Most copies have already been sold, so just follow the Bandcamp links to see, whether they are still available!



ANCESTRO - Ancestro (2020)

The category "psych" has always been a wide umbrella, and this instrumental trio from the label's home country certainly only touches its fringes.
Most of the time their self-titled debut would best be described as a mixture of stoner and post rock with influences from the worlds of doom metal and - in much smaller parts - prog and ambient.

And then there are also those moments in "La Destrucción", which feel as if Ancestro where recycling Slayer thrash riffs in a post rock context, which is a surprisingly fresh take on both respectice genres.

A strong heavy album with many catchy riffs, juicy riffs and an atmosphere which sometimes suggests more than just a name similarity to the cinematic Portuguese doomers of Sinistro.




LASTRYKO - Limbo (2020)

Lastryko from Poland are also standing with one foot in the world of post rock, but soaked in delay their guitars and also the bass lines are a lot more in the vein of classic psychedelic aesthetics, while the drums often add a busy dirty, almost jazzy vibe.

There is however nothing you could badmouth as old-fashioned about "Limbo". Their whole approach to songwriting and fluid style mixture is quite modern and maybe reminiscent of a less metal Russian Circles.

The one weak point of this album is the vocal performance. I get that it's deliberately calm, but most of it is just a tad too indifferent for my taste. On the other hand the totality of passages that even feature vocals is very limited, so that's far from being an album ruiner. I could easily live with a fully instrumental version of this though. Which would also be a better fit with some of the very abstract track titles here.

All in all however Lastryko do a successful job in cultivating their own a little quirky, yet still accessible niche.




LOS ACIDOS - Los Acidos (2020)

Ok, if a look at this cover artwork makes you think whoah, no thanks, too trippy hippie for me, well... you're probably right, because Los Acidos from Argentina are really into that traditional soundtrack for substance consumption on the beach thing.

And chops-wise they sure know how to do just that. So when I first listened to this album on the side while I was working, I found it sunny and playful and nothing struck me as bad. On repeated and more concentrated runs however much of the über-Californian attitude somehow thins down and leaves me with little to actually emotionally connect to.

It sounds like a geographically displaced emulation of what Brian Ellis and friends are doing in San Diego. That's completely fine in itself, and this debut will surely find its fans, no doubt. Yet personally I can't shake off the impression that half of "Los Acidos" is made off rather hollow clishes and I don't see me return to this one often.  And when I do, I will probably skip a couple of tracks, because especially with the closer "Empatía De Cristal" Los Acidos have accumulated most of the better songs in the second half of the album.




WHITE CANYON & THE 5TH DIMENSION - White Canyon & The 5th Dimension (2020)

In principle the Brazilian band with the medium catchy name White Canyon & the 5th Dimension falls into a similar category of blatant genre stereotype worship as Los Acidos, but taking their cues from darker Doors and Floyd sources they create a much more convincing atmosphere for me.
So if psychedelic rock with a cool attitude and eerie (Latin) Americana-fueled undertone is your thing, you can't seriously do wrong with this album.

Two aspects of White Canyon & The 5th Dimension still seem improvable to me though:
First the lyrics should either be proofread by someone fluent in English - or probably just be written in Portuguese altogether. There's of course a naive charme to lines like "This is story of a witch and his powerful love spell" and you can easily miss those howlers in the washed-out vocal production anyway, but correct use of language is correct use of language.

Second the album could just use a couple of tunes in a different tempo, because the grooves of the eight tracks are all a bit too alike. But since the rest of the music mostly makes up for it, this can be forgiven on a debut album. At the end of the day this is still very good stuff every fan of the genre should check out.




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