Friday, 26 July 2013

TWENTY TWO HUNDRED - Carnaval De Vénus (CD)

Twenty Two Hundred
Carnaval De Vénus
Tonequake Records

It's not often these days that an album hits me so hard it gets stuck in my CD player. It does happen now and then, but not like in the "old days". When the debut album by Australian band Twenty Two Hundred started spinning in the player, my listening experience was initiated by the track 7X Down, with its killer heavy riff, raw-edge bass and Tony Cardenas-Montana's rough bluesy voice. Just like fellow-Australians, Tracer, they also produced an outstanding groove making it impossible to sit still. Next track, Got It Bad, started with a gnarly, distorted, wah-wah tinged walking bass, soon accompanied by some swing drums, resting on Tony's almost jazzy added vocals, to just break loose in a crushingly heavy chorus with the whole band. Another track, with a riff that smashes everything in its way, the riff I wish I'd written, and probably Leslie West, too if he hears it, is Hitman. Here, Mark Wells delivers a guitar solo with the wah-wah at large, which fills its perfect role in the song. Stone Cold starts with a treacherous calm with some funky bass, slick drums and Tony's awesome cool voice. This song also delivers a sledgehammer chorus and a killer guitar solo. Also subsequent track, The Sun, rests on a cool funky groove in the verse, while the chorus again crushes! This is one of the things I love with this band, their feeling for nuances, to keep one part down while crushing in the next. Create some tension, like waiting for the Christmas presents. Guitarist/bassist Mark Wells has also produced the album, and I must say he has done an awesome job. He has created the same type of feel Kevin Shirley has done, especially with Tracer. Very dynamic, analogue and at the same time fat but atmospheric. That he lights up the guitars, like in the aforementioned tracks and Shot Down, lets the drums, bass and vocals handle the verse, and then let the brutal guitar loose in the chorus. I love that! I also love the band's cool mix of seventies hard rock, funky heavy rock and a big dose of groovy southern rocking blues. Outstanding groove and the band sound incredibly tight, like if they had been doing pre-production for months to feel each other off as musicians, alternatively played a hundred gigs together. Whatever, Twenty Two Hundred's album has been spinning frantically ever since I received it, and so has their first EP, and they will keep on. One of the best surprises of the year so far, and definitely a favourite! 

Janne Stark
Label: Tonequake Records
Country: Australia
Year: 2013