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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Elepharmers - "Weird Tales From The Third Planet"

There has always been something about the intrinsically insular nature of living on an island that has predisposed islanders to create music that is ever so off-kilter and mutated from that created on the mainland.  Hailing from the beautiful Mediterranean island of Sardinia, Elepharmers have proven to be no exception to that rule with their debut album Weird Tales From The Third Planet. Imagine Primus morphing into a stoner rock band and you get some idea of the truly eccentric ride into psychedelica these pachyderm mutants have wrought.

After a suitably spacey intro, "Stargazer" commences the album with its brittle and insistent riff laid over lumbering rhythms that sound like a pack of triceratrops trodding down Tokyo. Next up is "The Preacher", a groovealistic psychfest replete with a shuffling beat, throbbing bass frequencies, stuttering guitars, and offbeat sideways vocals from Guido "El Chino" Solinas (that actually sound highly reminiscent of fellow Italians Black Rainbows' Gabriele Fiori). The track also serves as a showcase for Andrea "Fex" Cadeddu's searing lead chops.

Perhaps no song underscores the singular unorthodoxness of Weird Tales like "The Valley" which vacillates between a heavy stoner dirge and a funky percussive jam. It's like two people fighting to change the radio back and forth between Black Sabbath and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The result is bizarrely cool. Unquestionably the highlight of the album though is "Endless Summer", a hazy, trippy smokeout of a tune that is periodically punctuated by one of the most gargantuan arena-sized monster riffs imaginable.  Whenever it kicks in, it is virtually impossible not to get swept up in its sway until you are thrashing to ecstatic oblivion.

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