While Sweden’s Dungen and Witchcraft take a reverent approach to their modern interpretation of classic, early-1970s progressive rock and proto-doom metal, Los Angeles outfit Bigelf has always been unapologetically flamboyant, focusing more on the frills of the era than exploring the actual substance of the music. Focusing a bit more on the glam rock, Pink Floyd, and Hawkwind side of early-‘70s AOR, there’s no subtlety at all, top hat-sporting singer Professor Diablo leading the charge with his gaudy vocal affectations that sound part Marc Bolan, part Roger Waters. However, before you dismiss these guys as just another winking, hipster-friendly retro act, one cannot dismiss that, for all the flash, they have the chops to deliver musically when needed. “Race With Time” and “Blackball” chug along at a Uriah Heep-like 6/8 pace, “Hydra” is a bizarre, ebullient amalgamation of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath-era Black Sabbath and Emerson Lake and Palmer, while the gaudy “Superstar” evokes Slade, T. Rex, and Suzi Quatro in one fell swoop. Of course it’s trite, but you can’t deny the fact that it’s enormously fun.
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// Notes from the Road
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