Hailing from Portugal, Miss Lava have previously issued one EP. Acclaimed by critics and having honed their craft through hard road work supporting the likes of Fu Manchu and Year Long Disaster, they unleash their full length debut on the world brimming with the confidence of a band who know they are simply great at what they do.
Erupting (all pun intended) from the speakers the powerful opening track ‘Don’t Tell A Soul’ and it’s simple ‘Tell the world that you ain’t gonna find one’ refrain kicks off like a volcano releasing pressing, sounding like Gentlemen’s Pistols with more vibrant stoner leanings.
Listening to the unashamed retro blues rock you can see how they would have gone down a storm last year supporting Year Long Disaster as they conjure up images of cruising fast in a big car with the top down on a dusty highway. This is no exclusive one dimensional stoner trip though; ‘Revolt’ has touches of early Iron Maiden in the heavy melody and boasts a chorus as catchy as a man with large hands.
The production job done by Samuel Rebelo and the band allow all the instruments to shine through. The greasy bottom end sound on ‘Black Rainbow’ will cause bassists all over the place to cream themselves upon hearing the introduction and the over all feel of the album reminds you of QOTSA 1st album, you know when Josh Homme was a guitar player and not some media dandy flitting around with celebrity mates and girlfriends – it makes you wonder how much he would give to turn out something today that has a chorus as angelic or a solo as electrifying as ‘Ain’t Got Time…
A couple of tracks in and you begin to wonder though if it will all end up washing by in a thick soup of break neck fuzzy riffs and harmonised choruses, but when the title track crashes in with grinding bass and considered melody before breaking into a swinging groovy, the answer is fortunately a no. ‘Blues For The Dangerous Miles’ is a center piece for this album and a clever mood lightener that sounds a little like Alice In Chains if they had laid off the smack and looked at the world in a glass half full kind of way.
After this watershed moment the album continues in a more experimental vein, pushing and challenging rather than straight forward and predictable, even though a hook laden chorus or head banging riff is never far away and even recreating a Go-Go esque disco/pop vibe on ‘Birth, Copulation & Death’ before concluding strongly with the epic ‘Scorpio’.
On the strength of this album it is easy to see why MTV Portugal has the band on heavy rotation despite it’s psychedelic leanings and stoner tendencies, ‘Blues…’ is a strong collection featuring songs tailor made for mass appeal – yet cool enough to be on Fonzie’s stereo and the only cloud on the horizon is the dust they just left their competition in.
Scribed by: Mark Hunt-Bryden