Release Date: August 20th 2021. Record Label: Mrs Red Sound. Format: DD/Vinyl
The Cantos - Tracklisting
6.Last Cantos XXIV
7.Last Cantos (Bonus Version)
Benjamin Monnereau: guitar, vocals
Guillaume Arancibia: guitar
Antoine Le Gall: drums
The Cantos is the 2nd full length album from French Prog/Psych Stoner Rockers Little Jimi. The band have expanded their Cosmic Doom based Psychedelic Stoner sound and The Cantos makes for a more engaging record compared to their debut album. They share many similar ideas and themes on this album that you would expect to hear on a Mars Red Sky album. This is perhaps more in tune with 60s and 70s Psychedelic Rock compared to Mars Red Sky. There is also a more “free-flowing” style of ideas when Little Jimi brings a more classic Doom flavour on this album.
The Space Rock attitude of the album is quite captivating especially on the 1st few tracks on the record with opening track First Cantos doing a damn fine job allowing Little Jimi to impress with their different styles of music. The song is way more Progressive that I initially expected but I was fully sold on this Psychedelic journey right Lush vocal arrangements and tight musical melodies go into All Them Witches and Earthless sonic based wizardry but Little Jimi play a few tricks of their own when the song goes full on Space Rock merged with hazy Psychedelic grooves.
Second song - The Way - starts innocently enough with Little Jimi bringing a 60s Psychedelic Playground to the mix before adding heavy doomed out guitars and classic rock surroundings. The song does take time to fully get moving but this is one of the more engaging and warm-hearted songs on the record. The lyrics are mostly peaceful and the song becomes frantically heavier towards the end and the slightly distorted elements of the song is what I remembered the most.
Third song - Palace Afternoon - opens with another slow-paced groove and Ambient based sounds with a convincing guitar solo promising that heavier things are going to appear sooner rather than later. Little Jimi earn their Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal spurs here with a song that shows off their talents down to a fine art. A drone-ish quality gives this song a more daring and visceral edge. The song even drifts off into Indie Rock surroundings before moving back to the band’s Stoner Rock roots. It’s an interesting creative choice the band have gone for this song and that makes this my favourite song on The Cantos.
For the final part of the album, Little Jimi explores the fine line of Psychedelic based Doom/Stoner Rock that Earthless, All Them Witches and Mars Red Sky have used so well. Though, these guys bring a more “doomier” construct to their sound especially on songs such as: Machetehew and Indian Rain.
The Cantos is a bit weird and experimental in nature but this allows Little Jimi to be judged on their own creative decisions. This is an album that has a bit of everything to entice listeners with and you will be surprised by the heavy spaced out journey Little Jimi takes you upon on this record.
All in all, The Cantos is an wonderfully offbeat and surreal album backed up by excellent production values.
Excellent and Highly Recommended.
Words by Steve Howe
Thanks to Floriane at Shake Promotion for the promo.
The Cantos is available to buy on on August 20th (digital) and September 17th (LP) via Mrs Red Sound