Another new one from Brooklyn?s psych squad La Otracina. Last year?s ?Tonal Ellipse of the One? proved to be a serious skullcracker for those looking for some heady psychedelic action and this one, again, is a monster. Albeit a two-faced one because this time the threesome stays a bit closer to earth and for they even have vocals to go with their psychedelic guitar panorama?s. A bold move because not every vocal style is suitable for La Otracina?s brand of psychedelic rock but luckily drummer Adam Kriney can sing almost as charming as he drums good.
I?m not so sure what the band is trying to convey with the 55 second short freakout ?Walking With The Wild Walkers? that opens this album but when ?Raze the Sky? kicks in it is very likely you?ve forgotten all about that. A heavy stomper with marching drums, out of control electric guitars that ooze psychedelic fire and vocals proclaiming ?raze the sky
? like it?s the anthem for a new generation of hardrocking teenagers. Towards the end the band slows it all down to slide some pensive guitar chords in but it?s not that long before the volume gets cranked up a few notches again to end the track in overdrive. It?s that kind of speakerblowing action that you?re used to from Japanese bands like High Rise and La Otracina do a pretty good job providing that same arousing energy while at the same time maintaing a connection with the Western crowd through their primitive and, at times, rather simplistic lyrics.
Take ?Fight for the Night? (yeah really), which might be even more that song to which a lost generation of bedroom rockers pump their fists to. When Kriney sings ?Remember the time / the feeling was right / the air was alive / the sea was a sight / we did what we want / for fear for fright / nothing to do / but fight / fight / for the night
?, you have to ask yourself whether the man is being serious or just having a blast. All the while the drums and bass plod along at midtempo whilst guitarist Philippe Ortanez supplies the song?s atmospheric backdrop with lush slabs of electricity.
A highlight in this new chapter La Otracina have laid out for themselves is ?Crystal Wizards Of The Cosmic Weird?. A heavy, dynamic blues tune gone spacerock transforming influences from Blue Cheer, Hawkwind and High Rise into a new and exciting shape.
When it all ends, and especially after the jittery jazzrock of ?An Ancient Confusion?, it feels as if the band is stuck between the adventurous, all out freerock core of their recent past and the alluring qualities of heavy psychedelic anthems. This time that mixture feels a bit off but here?s hoping they get closer and closer with each release. I?ll be looking out for them. 7/10 -- Joris Heemskerk (24 September, 2008)