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Earthless - 'From The West' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/a6/c2/09/earthless-from-the-west-4-1558554377.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 22, 2019    
 
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Does serve as a perfect antidote to the more glossy fare kicking around these days.

San Diego "Power Trio" Earthless have been around a fair few years now. Their debut 'Sonic Prayer' hit the streets back in 2005 and another four albums followed in the ensuing years, not to mention three live releases along the way. Hot on the heels of their latest studio effort ('Black Heaven' which is only a few months old) comes 'From The West', a live album recorded in San Francisco during March of this year.

Typified by long, sprawling heavyweight instrumentals, Earthless are not what you'd call background music, but in a move to commercialise their sound and reach for the Pop market, they've introduced vocals to their most recent release, although 'Top Of The Pops' may still be some way off yet.

Comprising six songs on the vinyl edition and seven on the CD, as well as an extra track with the download version (four featuring vocals), this is Earthless in their natural habitat – live on stage. Sonically, it is quite heavy (in fact, very heavy) with a deep, bass groove and huge riffs from Isaiah Mitchell, plus some screeching feedback and fuzzed-up wah-wah, which make Monster Magnet sound like Take That!

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On the four songs that include vocals, Mitchell's voice is a little back in the mix, but high enough to make an impact with his clean, Ozzy Osbourne-like tone. The vocals do bring a touch of variety to what could have been a heavy-going listen. A cover of Led Zeppelin's 'Communication Breakdown' brings an air of familiarity to the show and a pretty good job they make of it too. The recording manages to capture an energetic performance which gives you the feeling of being right in the middle of the crowd in a sweaty club.

If extended jams by three excellent musicians are your thing, then this could be right up your street. It does serve as a perfect antidote to the more glossy fare kicking around these days. It's not for the faint-hearted, but certainly has its moments to impress.

Mick Burgess

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