Review: All Souls & Fatso Jetson ‘Live From Total Annihilation’
Somewhere in the dark depths of Los Angeles is a studio called Total Annihilation and it is there that the story behind this record seemingly begins. Owned by a gentleman called Eddie Rivas, this studio started as a rehearsal space in 1999 and since then has grown to become one of the coolest studios in the region boasting an incredible amount of tape equipment as the analogue recording connoisseur’s choice.
This new split record from both All Souls and Fatso Jetson aptly titled Live From Total Annihilation was recorded and filmed during the pandemic at Total Annihilation Studios. Originally this double performance was premiered online as the Virtual Volumes in June 2021 with a teaser trailer released on the 26 May 2021.
This record is similar to the studio, an absolute buried gem of a recording unearthed and presented on physical release (including some beautifully limited vinyl) from the ever impressive roster of Ripple Music.
The first half of the record is from All Souls – a raw energetic punk rock outing from Tony Tornay (Fatso Jetson, Desert Sessions, Deep Dark Robot with Linda Perry), Antonio Aguilar and Meg Castellanos (both of Totimoshi). All Souls single release comes in the form of Who Holds the Answer, a perfect opening track for the record, setting the tone, pace and vibe – great frenetic energy captured and distilled for the listener!
The band have a beautiful blend of exotic scales and unique world music flavourings with a hard rock vibe. You Can’t Win is an exemplary example of this approach with a dark hard rock vibe enshrined with subtle world music overtones. The vocal delivery is perfect for the style, while the lyrics create a vivid connection to the listeners – it is hard to distinguish if this music has been recorded live at points as the delivery is flawless but the energy and propulsion from the tracks are clearly captured in the performance.
the attention to detail, narrative and concepts that we can expect from musicians heavily invested in honest, direct and high integrity music – very highly recommended…
The second half of the album is from the notorious and underground cult favourites Fatso Jetson. Widely cited, together with Yawning Man, as the forerunners of the desert rock sound. On this record, they have provided us with a new track and three tracks extracted from their back catalogue. Opening with a new track and lead single Drifting Off To Storybook Deth with a dark yet heavy Hawaiian and psych vibe, the record then progresses into Monoxide Dreams, the closing track from the bands fifth ‘come back’ record Archaic Volumes and then the penultimate track Dream Homes from the most recent record Idle Hands – having both of these tracks placed on the record gives them new energy and vitality.
The final track, Long Deep Breathes, first appeared on the split with Herba Mate in 2014 and closes this record with a dreamy desert rock vibe that really reinforces the ground that both the band and this record together with All Soul covers in the space of nine tracks. You can really sense the family vibes and shared history of this release as it comes together in one unified package.
The artwork seems to be a natural extension to Fatso Jetson‘s Idle Hands, instead this time the record cover has alluded to the hands no longer being idle and instead are extensions of a ‘60s style television set mounted onto a torso. Perhaps it’s a reflection of the influence of the media on people, but it definitely feels like a concept that has been extended from the most recent album into this fantastic split record. This is reflective of the attention to detail, narrative and concepts that we can expect from musicians heavily invested in honest, direct and high integrity music – very highly recommended.
Label: Ripple Music
All Souls: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram
Fatso Jetson: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram
Scribed by: Francisco Javier