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Asimov - Overseas (2013) review

Asimov “Overseas” (Black Cat, 2013)

Sophomore effort from this Portuguese psychedelic outfit is full of fuzzy, wah-wah guitars, chunky drumming, and hallucinogenic, chanting vocals. Simple, minimalist rhythms pump through the opener, which seems to be two disparate songs strung together to form a cohesive whole: “Running Around In Circles/This City Is Dead”. The first song is a Hawkwind-inspired brainmelt while the latter is a pure punk adrenaline rush, a la Motörhead on speed (admittedly an oxymoron!).

Their improvisational skills are to the forefront on the incredibly hyperdriven (mostly) instrumental “Kingsize Mark”, nearly nine minutes of swirling fuzz fading softly into a crystalline guitar solo. Astute listeners may hear vestiges of the insane psychedelic excursions of Acid Mothers Temple in some of the remaining track, from the screaming punk bordering on heavy metal speedcore of “Stars Are But Wishes” to the epic 15-minute closer, “Grim Harvest/If Home Is Where The Heart Is Then I’ve Been Homeless For A Long Time.” Even that title is pure Makoto Kawabata! You get everything from Sabbathian sludgehammers [sic] [“Grim Harvest”] to Floydian atmospherics (the chirping birds are straight out of “Grantchester Meadows”!), a haunting, Morriconiesque female vocal perfectly suited for a Leone western, and a tender, ruminative coda based around a lazy guitar solo that’s a perfect background to your next siesta.

So to say this is all over the map stylistically is an understatement, but when was the last psychedelic album from Portugal that you heard? Asimov has set a new standard and I’m curious to hear where they go from here.

Review made by Jeff Penczak/2013
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