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Slap Guru — Umashi's Odyssey
(Bandcamp Sixteentimes, 2020, CD / LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2020-11-22

Umashi's Odyssey Cover art

For their third album, Spanish hard psych rockers Slap Guru have released a concept album, Umashi’s Odyssey. Taken from the novel of the same name by their ex-guitarist Alberto Martin Valmorisco, every song is a chapter from the story and therefore showcasing the versatility of the band and their compositional skills. Slap Guru have now found their footing. The album kicks off with a killer dreamlike raga rock song, “Meeting the Mermaids,” featuring some excellent sitar playing. I am a sucker for the sitar and I wish that Slap Guru would work the sitar into more of their compositions. The remaining nine tracks vary from hard rock to stoner rock to glam rock to prog rock. My other favorite tracks are “Sidereus Fatum” that begins as calm introspective prog rock and shifts to Mellotron-propelled hard rock; “My Shadow Kills" with its slowed down vocals and brilliant guitar riffing that reminds me of Alain Markusfeld; and the blues rocker “Who Can Say It's Night,” a minimal song that incorporates a bit of Frippertronics. I am glad that I did not write Slap Guru off after their first album. They have matured into a band worthy of notice. Recommended if you are a fan of intelligent hard stoner psych prog rock.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Slap Guru

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