Pathways – Vinyl // CD // DD
Self Released – released March 14, 2017
Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr
Straight out of Melbourne, Australia comes EL COLOSSO, featuring the talents of vocalist Matt Cooper (Bring On The Junta), guitar of Benny James (Dirty York / King Wolf), bass guitar of Craig Fryers (Mushroom Giant / Dive Into Ruin) and drums from Peter Hayden (Free To Run / The Hybernators). There have been two previous releases from this band, April 2016’s EP “Cannonball” and the advance single ‘Leatherhead’, the first advance from, released March 2017.
Seven tracks and 39 minutes of absolute rock-and-fucking-roll madness is what this record delivers. Listing their influences with all of the usual suspects from Hendrix to HELMET, from THIN LIZZY to LED ZEPPELIN and even fellow countrymen AC/DC and from the first sputtering guitar notes of opener ‘Doom Boogie’ of swelling feedback pummeling with a sonic FORCE of power chords, bass rumble run amok and almost break the skins heaviness of drumheads and cymbals, all within the first minute plus before the REAL body of the song kicks in.
You can tell this is not going to be your typical 70’s revamped regurgitation but something meaner, louder and hungrier than anything to grace your ears in some time. Halfway through, the pace evens out as we are told that “You are, you are what I wanted” and then back to the running pace that stops for but a split second before that churning guitar and race-fast drumline jump on the bass-punches of ‘Leatherhead’ makes you instantly acknowledge that this was the perfect choice as the lead off to get this record out there. ‘King Ink’ comes in with an almost SOUNDGARDEN stop/start technique and that could almost be CHRIS CORNELL at the mic, the delivery as fierce and powerful as any AUDIOSLAVE song. It is the absolute perfect touch for this track carrying all the way through to the screaming solo break at the end.
‘The Hunted’ is more of that stoner approach of a slower tempo with fills galore and WAY-fuzzed bass line that is never predictable but holds the band like the thickest icing holds the layers of cake together creating the most delicious sensation as we swallow each crumb eagerly.
The last three in particular really stand out as the high points of this album, are in the perfect running order as a three piece and I would love to see them performed live one after the other. Title track ‘Pathways’ has a rollicking straight ahead pace that made me think of Aussie powerhouse MANTISSA with the alternating phrasing and multi-layered back vox thrown in with an over modulated out-wah pedaled fury that rips right along with the chorus, note for note, beat for beat. Followed by an electrified version of ‘Caught In Limbo’ with the title as just ‘Limbo’ for this album that is the same song but polished and even more emotive than the original, showing that this outfit is serious and ready to take it to the next level with a confidence that rings LOUD from this reworking.
Closing track ‘Moving Mountains’ is the masterpiece of this outing and is the ultimate ‘jam’ track filled with all of the pieces of that puzzle, each note flowing into the next drum beat through the lumbering ever present low end allowing each member to stand tall in their individual roles, stronger as one unit and the sheer passion and strength in the vocal delivery that comes from deep in the bones rises high and clear as crystal in this tome that has all of the heart ripping guitar soloing that screams a millions words never spoken, slicing to the core with each rise and fall of this almost 10 minute bookend to a release that is sure to be one talked about in the annals of this year.
If you have ANY love for music, you need to own this IMMEDIATELY and absolutely MUST get it into the ears of all around you… catch them live if you are given the opportunity and let’s help them blow this one UP to get them on distant shores… the rest of the world DESERVES to witness the pure glory that IS EL COLOSSO… keep it LOUD!!