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Gurumaniax

Psy Valley Hill

(Bureau B; US: 6 Jul 2010; UK: 25 Jun 2010)

Spacey psychedelia

The three-piece psychedelic outfit Gurumaniax specializes in spacey, instrumental jams that alternate between uptempo guitar-n-rhythm workouts and slower, dreamier numbers with plenty of echoey special effects thrown in. Opener “Drumoroto” lays down a bed of jittery percussion courtesy of Mani Neumeier; above it throbs layers of bass, while Ax Genrich’s guitar stutters and shimmies. At seven minutes plus, the song is in no particular rush to get anywhere, but the energy displayed keeps things trundling along. The epic “Spaceship Memory” follows, its nearly fourteen minutes buttressed by a range of aural effects that sound better over headphones than, say, driving to Wal-Mart. (Take my word for it.) That’s not to say that the song lacks energy, but it milks its fast+loud/slow+soft dynamic for all it’s worth, and there are definitely valleys mixed in with the peaks. “Ghost of Odin” and “Electrosaurus” are both fairly dirgeful, as is much of the album’s back half;  “Voodoo Touch” is livelier, rocking nicely with plenty of six-string noodling and wah-wah mixed in with the electronic bleeps and burps. There are still no comprehensible vocals though, which will put some listeners off.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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