Monday, March 10, 2014

Yerbadiablo-It doesn't Work

Atomic Stuff Records

 The 13-track "It doesn't Work", which was recorded, mixed, engineered & mastered by Luca Gomedi at High Distortion Level Studio between April 2013 and October 2013 and is the follow-up release to (previously-reviewed as noted by following link) "Jester In Brick Lane" (, is the latest work of art from Italy's experimental rock/indie rock/garage rock (and one-time one-man project) outfit Yerbadiablo. First appearing on the scene sometime back in 2010, with multi-instrumentalist/founder (and as stated then lone member!) Nik (the Öyster) calling all the shots, the project has evolved into more of a full-fledged band resulting in a much more fluid and natural sounding affair. Although let's be clear up front one point. Even when stacked next to other (world-wide) experimental rock acts a band like Yerbadiablo is unlike any other act out there expanding the boundaries of rock and roll. And yet, as evidential by the growth and (what comes off as) natural progression between 2012's "Jester In Brick Lane" and last year's "It Doesn't Work", the group's latest still seems as if it's roots are firmly planted in this reality*! Now backed by a rather impressive group of players**, Nic (vocals, guitars, bass, percussion, synth, diablo toys) takes Yerbadiablo on many adventures over the course of these 13-tracks. The album's first single "Hemp Generation" is the opener on "It Doesn't Work" (which should really be called "It All Works"!) and it's pure/blissful garage rock and roll! It's a great way to start off an album like this and, while it's a bit rough (language-wise so heads up being you go blaring this one around Mom & Dad and/or the kiddos folks!), "Hemp Generation" ( sets the course for what proves to be a amazing journey! Drawing upon their influences (really, it's a list of who's who that includes act both acknowledge and unacknowledged including Blue Öyster Cult, Tom Waits, The Black Keys, Green River/Motherlovebone/Pearl Jam, McLusky, The Rolling Stones, Infectious Grooves, El Tri, Ramones, Todos Tus Muertos, Pj Harvey, Deep Purple, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Sam the Sham, The Trashmen, MC5, The Stooges, (Detroit's) Death,  The Sonics,  Mudhoney, Grand Funk Railroad, King Crimson, Miles Davis, The Kinks, The Troggs, Lou Reed, The Clash, etc!!!!) Yerbadiablo makes easy work of early cuts like "El Viparo" (featuring tasty harmonica from Rick Martello this cut comes across as Iggy Pop collaborating with The Black Keys!!), the psychedelic "Eurozone" and post-grunge/alt. rocker "U.S.A. (United State of Alienation)" as they scamper along with (mellow) closure "Pink Clouds Purple Eyes" being the proverbial "X marks the spot" on the map! The sound patterns of the 60s & 70s end up being explored on "Black Beard" and (jazzy lounge/Spanish rocker) "Calavera y Veneno". Meanwhile "Ojos de Bruja" starts off like some sort of elevator (to hell!) music before switching gears towards something more (dangerous and dark) rock-oriented before "Rattlesnake Tail in the Belly of the Whale" opens the floodgates all the way with nothing but sick& sinister (and rustic and raw!) heavy metal pouring out! So, as you can see there are a shit-load and a half(!) styles coursing through this (garage rock) album and, unless you are unable to step forward and grab hold of something new and different, there remains "something for everyone" on "It Doesn't Work"! Highlights would be too many to list as Yerbadiablo makes everything work! Whether we're talking about the album's first single "Hemp Generation" (a saucy, sassy and sax-filled rock and roller!), (metal-like) "Rattlesnake Tail in the Belly of the Whale", (acid trip in the making?) "Eurozone" or the "Now, that's what I call punk rock!" track "Habemus Punk" (a gritty rocker that falls somewhere between 1970's New York punk of old and charming variety or early 80's Cali-punk) everything comes across as if it is perfectly suited for that particular genre! It's really hard to pull that off unless your fans first and you do everything with integrity and the mindset that you're paying homage to music you love for yourself first and then fellow-fans second! Yerbadiablo have really come a far way in a short amount of time so it will be really interesting to see where this act goes from here now that there is a (hopefully) steady/stable line-up in place! You can find out more on the group's Facebook page below and be sure to check out the video for the excellent "Hemp Generation"***!!

 *The group's last release (as can be read in my review!) left me "stranded somewhere in a state of confusion"! While their latest (which happens to be sung in both English and Spanish!) is still quite "wild and crazy", what with a track like "Imbunche" (heavily) relying on percussion (and being one of a few gems here sporting a cool ass sax solo!), the (almost there, but not quite) countrified/folk diddy "Diving Chamber" and the trashy punk rocker, "!Crash" serving as just a couple examples of the album's variety, it actually comes off as being (all-around) more grounded!

**Per the band's Facebook page the line-up also includes:
Pol-bass, vocals, guitars, percussion, sound fx, diablo toys 

Elvis-guitars, background vocals, percussion, diablo toys 

Gomez-drums, percussion, diablo toys  

Additional (guest) musicians include:  
Gabriele Bolognesi (sax on "Hemp Generation", sax & percussion on "Imbunche", clarinet on "Cazzillo Cramps", flute on "Black Bird". 

Il Demonio (guitar intrusion on "Ojos de Bruja") 

Ili (delay guitar improvisation on "Ojos de Bruja")

Rick Martello (harmonica on "El Viparo") 

***For the record I do not endorse the use of marijuana and/or any other narcotics so kids use your brains and think about the (potentially damaging) long-term effects before you do anything stupid!

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