Blisteringly heavy, punk-laden garage-psych from Greece
Slovenly Recordings, 2013
8.3 / 10
After hearing I Want to Fuck All the Girls in My School, the excellent debut EP from Athens psych-rockers Bazooka last year, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on their new self-titled full-length. And it did not disappoint. The songs here range from propulsive, punk-infused garage-psych to heavy, sludgy hard-rockers that border on metal. The two drummer attack may seem gimmicky, but it works quite well at providing a bombastic backdrop to the crushing-yet-tripped-out guitars.
Most tracks maintain a frenetic and aggressive pace throughout; though, songs like “Zed The Mythical Goat” and “Mister George” grind along at a slow dirge, and could almost be considered doom metal if it weren’t for the lo-fi, ramshackle garage vibe. The lyrics — though in English (other than the Greek language “Koritsi Stin Akti”) and upfront in the mix — are nearly impossible to decipher due to the skull-piercing cacophony of noise, but the singer certainly means every word.
While lyrics are probably besides the point with this kind of visceral psych, the energetic vocals definitely help set the tone, a tone that’s headbangingly heavy, yet totally trance-inducing at the same time, a feat not too many bands pull off as well as Bazooka. The only times they ever really mellow out on the album — not counting the first couple minutes of the opening track — are near the end, on the laid-back stoner-rock of “Mountain S.A.” and the dreamy jangle of “Church,” both of which eventually turn into all-out, amps-to-11 mindblowers soon enough.
Bazooka is an essential listen for fans of the punk-laden garage-psych of artists like Ty Segall, Cosmonauts, and Thee Oh Sees. I’d imagine that fans of straight-up punk — even stoner and doom metal — will find much to get excited about here. I never would have guessed that one of the best heavy garage albums of the year (so far) would come out of Greece, but there’s no arguing with the facts, and the facts are this: Bazooka will transport you to inner-space even as you’re getting dizzy from headbanging.
Now if that’s not an endorsement, I don’t know what is.
(P.S. If you’re not really feeling it after a few minutes, try turning the volume up and see if that fixes your problem.)
Purchase: Bazooka – Bazooka