El Hombre Montaña (Small Stone)
by Craig Regala
Like I was sayin’, when a band tightens form and accentuates beating ass within their defined normative structures/parameters, we all win. It happens on the Melvins new one, A Senile Animal, it happened with Boris’ Heavy Rocks, it even went off on Harvey Milk’s The Pleaser, and it sure as fuck happens here. The previous (Los) Natas recs I’ve heard had a stoner rock/Kyuss jam-to-the-gods aspect that lets’m reel it out for a few deeply felt bong hits. Then a few more well-placed pulls on the tube. I like’m a bunch, especially Cuidad de Brahman, which came out on the now-defunct Man’s Ruin Records, a goddamn great pan-rock label. I hope it’s still in print somewhere.
I don’t know anything about these guys’ influences, but this one rolls up on badass bellbottom-era ’70s kickass without any pretense to duplicate it as a period piece. The energy and attack puts’m more in league with the “We’re rockin’ now, ain’t we?” aspect of stoner rock’s “kick out the jams, motherfucker!” moments. High energy acid rock with a liquid flow that relaxes and spreads just enough before the guitarist starts biting off bar chords, the bassist starts cutting riffs in half and climbing the fretboard, and drumbo doubles his tempo, saddling up and getting’ after it again. That they’ve been on Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, and Blue Cheer tribs makes as much sense as their gigs with QOTSA. Man, I hope there’s other stuff this good down in Argentina.