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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Nuclear Dog's Atomic Split: Larman Clamor - "Alligator Heart" / Alice Tambourine Lover - "Star Rovers"

Today, and end of the year treat, showcasing two albums that take a different tack from the norm perhaps, but still manage to provide a spiritually uplifting metal experience by mixing some funky, fuzzy, and furious blues, some expertly crafted melodies, a breathing, tangible atmosphere, and incredible passion in execution when laying down the cobalt riffs conjured for their respective albums. This music will likely take you down paths you might not ordinarily go, delivering a stunning and unexpected experience along the way. Here, at the end of a brilliant rock n roll year for the fuzzier strains of music the world over, I present to you the deep blue delicious melodies of Larman Clamor and Alice Tambourine Lover.


Surely there are but a few of the world's billion artists that happen to be in possession of more than one valid means of expressing their yearning need to interpret the universe. The master craftsman behind Larman Clamor happens to be one of those rare and gifted artists. Alexnder von Wieding might be best known for the phenomenal artwork he has contributed to the world of heavy metal, including the moody, swamp gas infused composition he has placed on the cover of this second album release on Small Stone Records, "Alligator Heart", but, working strictly solo, he has crafted a fine collection of blues riff fueled tracks that mine the depths of emotion and electricity in equal and emphatic measure. Striking powerful, deep blues licks to go along with his rough around the edges sharecroppers vocal delivery he manages to elicit a lot of smoky, dark atmosphere in tune perfectly with his penchant for well crafted melodies. Von Wieding manages to play it heavy with tracks like "Banshee W'Me" and "She Sent Her Hounds", conjuring hot and sweaty visions of futility and despair with tracks such as "Done No Good" and "Been Cookin'", as well as inspirational, spiritual experiences with songs like "I'm Building Ruins". On each song is the hand of a meticulous mason, crafting deep, distorted threads of varying licks that interwine beautifully to create intriguing tunes of guile and depth, emotional to the bone, and managing to satisfy that sticky sweet yearning for blues that lies at the base of most of what we love musically.

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When first hearing Alice Tambourine Lover's music you catch a bluesy, Americana sound that has gargantuan riffs of blues magic woven in and around subtle but charming psychedelic licks and fuzzy desert melodies.The fuzz on this record is ingenious in its subtlety, yet powerful in presence, engendering power cycles of enormous magnitude managing never to overwhelm, instead creating an atmosphere of physicality and immense satisfaction. Guitarist Alice Albertazzi combines her mastery of the blues and her dulcet, angelic vocals with melodies of exquisite, whimsical adventure. Bassist and dobro wielder extraordinaire Gianfranco Romanelli gives power and grace to the magical melodies, driving them toward amplified glory up and down the entire album track. The songs are sweet and awe inspiring, wrapped tightly with a huge fuzzy blanket of riff and resonation. Tracks like "Digging This Song", "Temptation", and "Between Cupid's Lip" are uptempo and crunchy pleasure rides showcasing mastery and evolution of the blues riff. Sweet songs such as "Venus" and "Falling Deep Inside" haunt deeply, cajoling emotion from deep, personal sources. A trippier, psychedelic experience is to be had on "Gipsy Mind" and "Rainy Rainy".

This duo from Bologna are supremely gifted artists who place a significant metal imprimatur on "Star Rovers" with dexterous, intelligent guitar riffs of exquisite beauty and significant heart.

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