Back in 2021, my first-year writing for The Sleeping Shaman, I had Washington DC, riff-wielding power trio Borracho’s album Pound Of Flesh as one of the best releases of that weird, still-in-the-thralls-of-the-pandemic year. In fact, it came in at number three. Borracho’s ethereal combination of riffs, fuzz, and grooves, coupled with politically charged lyrics hit a particular aural sweet spot for me.
Borracho, comprised of guitarist/vocalist Steve Fisher, bassist Tim Martin and drummer Mario Trubiano have returned in relatively quick fashion with Blurring The Lines Of Reality, an apt title for the times we collectively find ourselves in. And, while the sound is theirs alone, they have never been a band to regurgitate the same sonics over and over as this new album sees the power trio dipping into eastern influences and heavy psychedelic rock that is on display right away with the opening of the three-part Architects Of Chaos.
Architects Of Chaos I displays said eastern and psych influences during the initial build, before they drop the mega-riffage we’ve come to expect from them. As well, Fisher’s lyrical venom, which was all over Pound Of Flesh, is still on full display, as he drops science on topics such as disinformation, and manipulation while barking ‘Resist!’ and ‘I will not comply’ all the while anchored by the next-level rhythm section of Martin and Trubiano’s groove.
Part II follows a similar avenue as Borracho take their time, building the song with psychedelic guitar musings, before dropping into a tripped-out groove, wherein Fisher unleashes some serious shred from his Flying V, as the crushing main riff unfolds. Lyrically, we’re still in the same universe, so when he lets loose with ‘sowing the seeds of division, civil war and sedition’ it’s not hard to guess who and what he’s talking about, and being in DC, they have had all the political upheaval in the United States since 2016, right in their own backyard. The third and final track of the opening suite proffers some killer, fuzzed-out riffferey, all the while staying in the aforementioned heavy psych realm, which, here, includes some weird chanting/vocal stylings, that are well served by the unstoppable groove of their rhythm section.
relentless riffing and indomitable rhythm section…
Loaded, meanwhile, serves as an instrumental palette cleanser after the opening three-part Architects Of Chaos setting the stage for their latest single, the penultimate This Great War, perhaps the catchiest track on the album wherein they unleash their lyrical take on the war in Ukraine, all the while propelled by Fisher’s fuzz that is deftly accentuated by that colossal rhythm section, which now includes some well-timed cowbell hits. Closer, and second single, Burning The Goddess lyrically touches on climate change, including the Amazon fires of 2020 and capitalism’s thirst for money at the expense of the environment, which is, of course, propelled by the bands relentless riffing and indomitable rhythm section. Furthermore, the melodic breakdown on the outro serves as the cherry on top of one massive cake.
Blurring The Lines Of Reality hammers home the point that Borracho are one of the best heavy rock bands on the planet, and most certainly one of the best power trios. The heavy psych and groove elements displayed over the six tracks can conjure up Wo Fat similarities in places, but make no mistake, Borrracho are their own beast. This record is once again a testament to their otherworldly skills at producing this type of music, as well as their willingness to push forward sonically adding new elements to their music without sacrificing one iota the crushing power they collectively wield.
Moreover, if I’m being honest, I am completely behind their politically charged lyrics as I feel there are not many bands able to convey the feelings of despair, frustration, and desperation the last few years have produced as Borracho collectively have. We still have a few months left in 2023, but I can guarantee that Blurring The Lines Of Reality will find itself in my top ten, just as Pound Of Flesh did a few years ago. Highly recommended.
Scribed by: Martin Williams