Monday 12 December 2016

Borracho - Atacama (Album Review)

Release date: November 04th 2016. Label: Kozmik Artifactz. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl.

Atacama – Tracklisting

1.Gold From Sand 03:37
2.Overload 10:43
3.Lost In Time 06:32
4.Descent 05:45
5.Drifted Away From the Sun 08:37
6.Flower 04:27
7.Shot Down, Banged Up, Fade Away 06:33
8.Last Song 04:52


Steve - Lead Guitar & Vocals
Tim - Bass
Mario - Drums


Borracho return from the wilderness with their third full length record – Atacama. Borracho’s sound has matured from their previous albums as the band embrace the heavier side of their Desert/Stoner riffs.

Atacama is named after the following – Atacama is the driest place on earth. A vast wasteland, to pass through it inevitably affects the traveler in profound ways. As the body crosses miles of barren landscape, the mind looks inward, examining itself, unsure of what is there and unprepared for what it will find. With time and distance, the harsh conditions conspire with the traveler's distracted subconscious to present a reality very different than it is. How this new reality is interpreted can be a dangerous and powerful journey. This is the soundtrack to that journey.

Opening track – Gold From Sand – has a classic style of Desert Rock and Stoner based grooves with a modern Fuzz sound. The album itself has a rough feel to it with the production still allows the album to sound crisp, clear and remarkably fresh. Lead vocalist – Steve – may not have the most delicate of vocal chords but he excels with his grizzled vocals adding a more dynamic feel. Gold From Sand fades out naturally before the standout song on the album appears.

Second track – Overload – is eleven minutes of trippy and far out psychedelic riffs with the band adding different layers of heavy distorted noise. Soundclips appear telling a story of sorts before the band opt for a more slow-paced delivery with the riffs becoming heavier once again. Borracho have taken some ethics from the DIY/Punk scene as the vocals yet again sound very raw with the tone of the album being one of rebellion at times. The main attraction here is the RIFFS as Borracho need to hold your attention throughout the epic runtime with elements of Progressive Rock starting to appear.

Third track – Lost In Time – is a more Psychedelic Fuzz Rock affair with the bands sound taking influence from Monster Magnet at times. Borracho take a step-back from their Stoner sounds and remain in the Psychedelic Fuzz world with the band writing some of the best lyrics held on the album. Lost In Time ends with some heavy distorted riffs and noises that see the band venture into doomier waters on the next track.

Fourth track – Descent – sees Borracho opt for a more Doom/Gloom approach to the album and it’s a welcome sound. It allows the band to create a more sinister sound compared to the other songs on the album. Descent is purely an instrumental affair with the band experimenting with their sound by adding bells and chimes to the mix.

Borracho return to their familiar Desert/Fuzz/Stoner Rock sounds on the second half of the album. Fifth track – Drifted Away From The Sun – has an eerie feel to it with the band playing a more subdued style of Desert/Stoner Rock. That soon gives way to a heavier style of riffs with vocalist – Steve – laying down some angry vocals at different parts of the song. The fuzzier sounds is what holds everything together as it allows Borracho to create a more expansive sound that some fans maybe used to.

The final three songs – Flower, Shot Down, Banged Up, Fade Away and Last Song – carries on the epic sounds the band created on the earlier tracks. Flower has a more laid back feel with Borracho creating delicate noises and slowly played riffs. Another standout track on the album as I didn’t expect the band to add a min-orchestra of sorts. Flower is perhaps Borracho’s “lighter/mobile in the air” song where everyone at a live gig sit backs and embraces the magic on stage. Flower has that vibe. It’s a magical sounding track and one that was stuck in my head for days.

I remember reviewing Borracho’s previous album as I called them one of the best power trio’s currently on the Stoner Rock scene. I still stand by that as Borracho capture the essence of the classic nineties Stoner Rock/Metal scene but give it a more modern feel by adding elements of Psychedelic Fuzz. Atacama is another stunning record from Borracho but this is perhaps the album that changes everything for the band. As I can see them only building upon this huge album. An outstanding album.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Kozmik Aritfactz for the promo. Atacama is available to buy on CD, DD and Vinyl (due early 2017) from Kozmik Artifactz Records now.