Monday, June 29, 2009

Admiral Browning-Magic Elixir

Dancing Sasquatch

This disc from Middletown, Maryland's Admiral Browning showed up a few weeks ago and I promptly stuck it in the stack I think of as "need to be reviewed at some point". Eventually I pulled it out of the disc and popped it in the player to see what this three piece instrumental band was capable of doing. I was promptly greeted with a brief old time salesman pitch which goes along with the theme of the album title/cover and liner notes. Then the opener "Vortexer" marches on very deliberate and simple strides. Heavy for sure, but all rather ordinary until a few minutes in when they started to deviate from the simple path they were on. All of a sudden my senses were assaulted from multiple angles as the instruments involved seemed to explode bringing tones, various beats and a barrage of all things slow and brutal. Only one track in they in and this band has already set me up and knocked me down. "Ol' Martini Man" is up next and this much more aggressive from the start. The main riff sounds like they took the core of classic Sabbath and Pentagram, but pumped it up and twisted it into a huge and powerful Frankenstein monster style creature. Then it stomps it's way through knocking aside everything in it's path. This one is a behemoth that shows it's muscle form the beginning and never backs off. Up next is "No good stones" which at it's core is Led Zeppelin influenced blues rocker. Only Admiral Browning add a smoky haze to the mix yet still keep a big beat going in the background to guide this one through. The next track is the very appropriately named "Speaking in tones". This is a wild, riff-fueled rant that comes on like a storm and never let's up. Like a boiling cauldron, they keep steadily stirring the pot and adding odd and bizarre ingredients that all help keep the mixture swirling. All these songs have somewhat different approaches, but they all show that this band are a talented group with a mass of ideas at their disposal. This is only an EP and it manages to stand up great on it's own and also wet my appetite for the next full length offering.

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