Totimoshi – Milagrosa – Review


Milagrosa (Volcom)
By Craig Regala

Well fuck; this is good day at the mailbox: A new Totimoshi rec, and it’s not only “good” but UPFLOW good. Their whole sound, approach, structure remains intact, but a relaxed sway has infiltrated the band. It’s moved from strangled screaming to articulating why they were so goddamn cranked-up, while still letting some howling wind via throat and guitar punch the air. The chiming and kerchunka riffing is uplifting in the best sense of the “you can beat me up, but you can’t get me down” of the blues/be-bop/blue note continuum. Amazingly, they take the James Brownian bridge to the (very) hard rock form now and again and boy, it works great! It certainly helps that metal is not a four letter word. Easy to step on one’s collective dick trying this, but luckily, these guys tap the century-old alt.hippie.punk.metal.beat creative force churning up from San Francisco’s weirdo + immigrant & shore leave polyglot of culture, bringing energy and a wide-eyed view contiguous with that city/mindset, instead of a dull “this” plus “that” equals something that most marketing depts can (kinda) understand/demand. Remember when Nirvana and Sonic Youth “broke” and radio/MTV programmers just “couldn’t get it” but still had to play it? I wish this had the chance to “not be got” in the same way. It’s got the same familiarity/newness whoosh, I swear to the Gods.

“Forever in Bone”‘s acoustic pulse-folk blues coulda come from Arthur Lee’s pen while in Love or on that solo record where he covered Hendrix’s “Ezy-Ryder” and sounded like Randy Holden’s funky brother. The first cut has a transcendent lift from the guitar riff, chorus, and splashy drum work grinding up classic grunge and turning it into the fuel to thrive, all while the wiff of Alice Cooper’s “Killer” wafts up a couple tunes latter. “The Whisper” drops into a acid rock/folk stomp bridging Bevis Frond’s remembrances of London’s UFO club in ’71 and those great sea shanty ballads Metallica used to crank out when these folks were in Jr. High. If you want a great stoner rock anthem that coulda graced a Soundgarden LP, I suggest “The Seeing Eye.” What more could you want? Well, a couple covers, for shits ‘n’ grins, say The Gang of Four’s “Anthrax,” Sonny Sharrock’s “Little Rock,” and Queens of the Stone Age’s “Born To Hula.” I’ve seen’m in Ohio, I’ve seen’m in Oregon, and I need to see this tour anywhere the car can get in a day, because for all the “historical this’n’that,” Milagrosa taps today’s main vein wonderfully.