Cosmic Blues, the latest full-length from psychedelic fuzz rock alchemists BLACK ELEPHANT is out now via Small Stone.
One would be hard-pressed to come up with a better descriptor for BLACK ELEPHANT's Cosmic Blues full-length than the title of the album itself. Based in Savona, Italy, the four-piece have conjured ghosts of '70s heavy fuzz and '90s riff mongering offering up a sonic brew that's both potent and thoroughly modern. Cosmic Blues follows 2014's Bifolchi Inside and 2012's Spaghetti Cowboys (get it?) and marks their debut on Small Stone Records.
Comprised of lead vocalist/lead guitarist Alessio Caravelli, rhythm guitarist Massimiliano Giacosa, bassist Marcello Destefanis, and drummer Simone Brunzu, BLACK ELEPHANT makes their mark in their home country's booming heavy rock underground with memorable songs and a sound that's just as comfortable getting funky on "Chase Me" as it is re-imagining Soundgarden as a riff rock outfit à la peak-era Dozer, rolling out huge grooves en route to "Cosmic Blues For Solitary Moose," loaded with fuzz and scorching solos.
Given a brisk, live sound in its production - fitting for a group with hundreds of shows under their collective belt - Cosmic Blues comes across natural and at times maintains the intensity of BLACK ELEPHANT's earlier work (closer "Inno" walks by and waves), while simultaneously exploring more spacious realms in the not-a-cover "Helter Skelter" and the takeoff jammer "Baby Eroina," which eases into and out of its nodding rhythm with a smoothness worthy of a group's third album and a fluidity that typifies the record's entire thirty-four-minute run. Leaving their own tracks in the footsteps of bands like Small Stone's own Isaak, BLACK ELEPHANT hits a new level of craft with Cosmic Blues, and if the righteous drive of opener "Cosmic Soul," the flowing progression of the LP that ensues, and the name they've given the whole affair are anything to go by, they know it for sure. All the better.
"Opener 'Cosmic Soul' hits like a freight train, images of Cactus, Jimi Hendrix, and Black Sabbath all popping up, and the almost heavy southern rock vibes of 'Helter Skelter' also pack quite a punch, the guitars sizzling, especially when the wah-wah kicks in." -- Sea Of Tranquility
"Their main source of inspiration is obviously seventies fuzz, but also guitar heavy music from the nineties. Think Jimi Hendrix making music with Chris Cornell's Soundgarden. How does that sound? Pretty good, actually." -- Ave Noctum
"All of these songs rock. You might actually get sore from all the headbanging and fist pumping you'll do, but it will be worth it - especially if you've been seeking some good heavy rock to stick in your earholes." -- AXS
"...a full-on hard-bluesing stoner rock album that collects the spirit of early Fu Manchu, the space-faring fuzz-rumble of Dozer's debut and a heavy chug of acid rock's finer blues guitarists for inspiration." -- Grizzly Butts