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Guru Guru – Hinten

Play Loud!

Guru Guru - HintenJust guitar, bass and drums — it’s a simple tirade but Guru Guru pushed beyond those limitations, expanding out into a universe eaten into with discordant joys, and zim-zoned tresses of effect-soaked goodness. There’s chord ego in there, yeah, but what Seventies band didn’t cling to that tattered flag — but for these guys it was just a starting point which hooked into a whole lot more — even by today’s standards, they still give me goose bumps, leopard-gecko my inner space with glittering possibility.

“Electric Junk” sets the stage in staggered splinters, an arresting opening slipping into something more comfortable, a Clapton-esque juju full of sliding dunes, delicious bends; it knows excess, revels in it perfectly as the wah threads roast themselves like “Hotel California” solos abacus(ing) extra equations. It could have headed into blowout of epic proportions but instead dips a more fragmentary vibe. Punctuations of errant guitar and drum clatter some echoed voice action, belches of spiking feedback torch-touching high ground until this candy-like rhythm is drilling into your cranium once more. Its riff feathers adrift in nauseous waves, empire building the sensations only to ditch them like stolen goods in a gulley of reverb spectres and marsh moan, a mare(ish ) mirage navigating weirder plains of existence. An interlude through which some scorching riffery returns, a solid spasm of worming insistence that grabs at you in multiple car crashes. With the double G it’s all about the journey.

“Meaning of Meaning” bleeds an overindulged hinterland, a slothy psilo-seeping its tentative fingers, Krueger-esque curve cages of plexi-flexed distortion, cymbal shivers riding the waves like New Order‘s “In a Lonely Place,” but here more transient, a ticker tape to elsewhere. You could say this was an album of elsewheres, things switching palettes at the drop of a hat — cro-magma yelps and scattering drum patterns , a recurring drive stitching the loose tapestry, puckered in googly broths and hard chisel-like Ranaldos, until things anaconda the speakers beautifully again, burning lushly in the ears, fireworking the senses in stuttering Hendrixes and wah whips.

A homage to the guitar god Bo Diddley follows, a split shoe funk shuffle, getting toasty on primitive secondaries and hyper-driven goodness. A melt of chord curl-e-delics not afraid to pop pretensions bubble with some well-placed goofing around. Compared to the rest, “Space Ship” comes across majorly avantgarde, its garbled receivers bringing to mind Labradford‘s Prazision dismemberments, combing harsh were-chasms, a fractured cosmos of grumbling electrons. From here this could have easily gone all Roger Dean, living the sci-fi dream; but it chooses to eclipse expectation in a pro-pogo(ing) of guitar-zapped glare slowly fed into a toxicity of debris. The umbilicus of tune gathering underneath, sacrificed to skidding backologies and leaking raygun citrus.

It’s an album that has you wanting more, to which this disc obliges with “Stone In,” a bonus download for those who get the vinyl direct from Play Loud! — a slice of live action from Essen that sounds deliciously windswept and rightfully caves into rapturous applause.

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

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