Friday 4 January 2019

Buso von Kobra - Chinese Tales from Outer Space Vol. 1 (2018)

Country: Hungary
Style: Stoner Metal
Rating: 7/10
Release Date: 5 Nov 2018
Sites: Bandcamp | Facebook | Reverb Nation | SoundCloud

This is an interesting, if short, album that this intriguingly named Hungarian stoner band just released on Bandcamp with truly glorious cover art. It's good stuff but I'm trying to figure out what audience they're aiming for.

For instance, the opener, My Dear is a Whore, is heavy but still commercial. It ought to be a gimme for alternative radio play, except that the lyrics wouldn't allow that without heavy use of beeps during the chorus.

Chinese Tales doesn't let up either, even when it slows down a little, and whoever that is on guitar knocks out some tasty riffs on tracks like Backbones, while the various vocalists change up their styles on a regular basis. If I'm counting right, there are three tracks with Attila Voros singing, three with Gergely Kovacs, three with Jozzy and one with Jappan & Barnsz. Given that there are only seven tracks, they have to team up and that adds to their interesting sound.

In fact, in many ways, Backbones is about three different songs in one. It kicks off like an evil Zeppelin, leaps into Rage Against the Machine territory and end in a quietening groove. It's a song that catches you immediately but wants you to come back to dig deeper and I love that sort of thing.

The Wait does something similar. Out of the gate, it's alt country with cheeky cymbals. Then the chunky riffs hit and the vocals intensify, only to relax back down again like Nick Cave at points. Before long, soulful backing vocals join in to make sure we know it's commercially viable. And yet none of this feels out of place.

The psychedelic angle isn't that obvious early on but it kicks in hard towards the end of Ghost Train and especially at the beginning of Ivory Lies.

If this is what Budapest sounds like nowadays, I might have moved out of England in the wrong direction. This sounds great and 2,000 Hungarian forints is not as crazy as it sounds. That's about $7, making this about a buck a track, worth it given that there isn't a bad one on the album.

It aches to be played live though and if Buso von Kobra can recreate this in a club environment, they're going to truly blister. Sadly, I'm about six thousand miles away from being able to check that out. Someone get these guys onto the radio so they can start touring somewhere a little closer to me than Budapest!

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