- by Mark Steele Rating:7 Release Date:2016-09-23 Label: Sonic Cathedral
The fourth installment Balance arises from Guadalajara's Psych-Shoekraut rocking gazer duo Lorena Quintanilla and Alberto Gonzalez AKA Lorelle Meets The Obselete. Their last delivery Chambers from 2014, was generally considered something special, here however, is a 9-track parcel of evenly mixed morsels to get our teeth into or even to get stuck in our teeth.
The relatively simple drum beat on the title-track, alongside some dreamy jangly guitar pattern has been invaded by some scary extra-terrestial synth lines. It can only be described as an eerie blend of what could be Gary Numan caught in a psych cavern. The 3/4 guitar stabs carry along bubbly bass on 'It Must Be The Only Way', Lorena's mantra warbled vocals goading along tight knit drums, with a souped-up bluesy fuzz guitar wailing away.
The paranoid clanging from a relentless electric piano two-note bassline of 'Ching' sounds like a far-eastern tinged factory rawkus, and to note the vocals seems claustraphobic in a murky prism. Wavering synths and dull chimes present another world on 'The Sound Of All Things', not far off a Jean Michel Jarre or Boards Of Canada feel. With animal noises, later accompanied by the ghostly presence of Lorena, plus a raging drone fuzz guitar attack contained within a krautrock driving beat.
Melancholic bubbleglum pop comes to mind on 'Waves Over Shadows', it challenges tonally, becoming increasingly abstract the more things are added to the looping chord progression. Yet it still alows the three part harmonies of Lorena to cut through as best as they can. However 'La Distincion' lurks around in an acid soaked fuzzy Bossa-groove, under Lorena's jazzy melodic vocals and maintained chilling vocal harmonies.
Impressive atmospheric droning layers create a vast emotional cosmosis backdrop on 'Father's Tears', for the vocals and hypnotic acoustic guitar chiming. A Indo-synth groovin gives way to an intensely loud distorted guitar with instrumental interlude 'Waves Under Shadow'. The overdriven snarling guitar drone arrangements on final song 'Eco Echo' has a jungle drum funky gallop, carrying Lorena's distant muddy groanings along to a fragmented still.
Balance has truly been a recording which aims to transcend and connect with its audience. It is true that the last album succeeded in that mission, however due to the mixture of textures and styles present on this album there may be a case of mixed messages. Then again new flavours always present themselves that are either hit or miss.