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The Grand Astoria — The Slowest Guitar Alive
(Addicted Label BNiL 785, 2021, CD / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2021-12-04

The Slowest Guitar Alive Cover art

Inspired by the title of Roy Orbison’s campy 1967 western The Fastest Guitar Alive, Russian stoner rock giants The Grand Astoria has composed and released The Slowest Guitar Alive. Band leader Kamille Sharapodinov has been a long time Roy Orbison fan and he wanted his tongue-in-cheek EP to be an homage to both Roy and doom metal grunge. And there the comparison to Roy Orbison ends. Coming off the sessions from their previous release, From the Great Beyond, Kamille wanted to change focus and record something raw and visceral,  so the band set about recording all the tracks live and then adding a few overdubs,  the occasional acoustic guitar, some dub elements, and psych sound effects. The result makes for a very interesting listening experience. The opening track “Foundation” just slays any doom metal contenders. “Twelve Years Anniversary Riff” jumps across genres to near-Krautrock jamming ala Manuel Göttsching at his finest. Then they brutally attack with “Mountain of Judgement,” indulging both the band and listener in sludge rock. “Freezing Moon Dub“ shifts gears again for a slow drone / dub / psych jam. Then there is the short acoustic “Interlude” that builds layer upon layer over its two minutes, just like Mike Oldfield. And the EP closes with the simple “Thorn, Moose and Swamps,” a trippy neo-psych riff. Always charting new strange and mysterious musical directions, The Grand Astoria never fails to please.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): The Grand Astoria

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