Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
From Morano Calabro, Italy comes EL ROJO and their recently released “16 Inches Radial” EP.
Sixteen is somewhat a significant number elsewhere, seeing as EL ROJO – Evo Borruso (vocals), Fabrizio Vuerre (guitar), Luigi Grisolia (guitar), Pasquale Carapella (bass), and Antonio Rimolo (drums) – only formed in 2016. Apparently, they have spent the two years since crafting and creating some super stoner rock, as evidenced here.
Make no mistake, THIS is absolutely stoner rock in every sense of the term, with its retro vibes, massive riffs, deep grooves, and solid sonic substance. Overflowing with an energetic sense of purpose, the quintet within EL ROJO has come to rock with their studio début.
After a brief intro of someone cranking up a cammed-out muscle car, the Pontiac Trans Am referred to here, I assume, “Pontiac” gets underway. This powerful, driving, cut revs out killer rhythmic patterns and fuzzy guitars, while the raspy vocals ride on the airwaves being generated.
Things go from great to greater with the start of the heady, hazy funk of “Trigger.” The song soon explodes into a tempest of grandiose riffery amid the pinpoint precision of the band’s tightly knit delivery. This is definitely one of the EP’s standouts, unpretentious and guaranteed to kick your ass.
I especially dig the defined turn toward a bit more psyche-oriented audio with the brief, but epic, instrumental “El Rojo.” Enhanced with flavors of space rock goodness, this brief discharge warms you up for what comes after, the hypnotic “Psilocybe“. This number has an unmistakably doomier air about it, heaving with slowly churning, southern-tinged guitars… and those aggro vocals!
Somewhat drained by that track, we now get treated to another amazing highlight, the EP-ending “Red Sand.” This one ripples with lysergic nuances right from its very start, ethereal derived elements that flow from the center out. They eventually build pressure, gradually gathering steam until they are set loose upon some amazing guitar soloing, then a reprise of the psychedelia.
EL ROJO renders an enthralling experience with the ‘16 Inches Radial‘ EP; a real hidden gem amidst the sea of recent recorded output. It possesses a very primal quality about it, not relying on any type of trickery to create this killer rock.
Stream it here in our review or head over to Bandcamp [HERE] to stream and purchase the EP.