Cast your minds back a ways and you may remember me enthusing about a li’l two-track release by a Miami-based band named Green Sky. At the time I was hankering after hearing more as the two tracks present on that recording had merely whetted my appetite, leaving me jonesing for a full-length album…..that never came.
Tragically, this kind of thing happens all the time: you discover a new band, hear a couple of tracks that you fall a bit in love with and then they vanish, simply vanish, like an old oak table.
Well, thankfully, Green Sky mainman Pedro Ortiz has resurfaced with this new project, Euro-Asia, that partially picks up where Green Sky left off but fuzzes up the harder edge of that particular project. This time around Ortiz does all the work himself, aided only by the occasional drums of Cody Mentelos and the ears of Torche’s Jonathan Nuñez, once again.
Although the ‘voice’ of Euro-Asia – both literal and figurative – remains clearly that of Ortiz, as I said above, the hard-edged guitars of Green Sky have been replaced by a warmer, rougher, less focused sound, closer in tone to the ‘shoegaze’ sound than the Isis inflected one of his previous band. This gives the four tracks that make up Signals a hazy, smeared, organic quality that allows the twinkling guitar melodies to shine through like the beam of a searchlight cutting through a fogbank.
There is something of the stateliness of Justin Broadrick’s Jesu to be found across Signals, particularly in the first half with its processed drum track. The tracks ‘The Alternative Route’ and ‘My Sunset’ have a wide-open, yet at the same time crushing, feel, and those laser-like melodies and slightly buried vocals are reminiscent of Jesu’s earlier, more solid material, whilst still maintaining the individual voice of Ortiz.
In contrast, ‘Save Myself’ and ‘You Thought Wrong’, the latter half of Signals, are hewn from a rougher foundation, having as they do live drums. The energy herein is more upbeat, and Ortiz switches between his Steve Brooks-esque clean vocals and a throaty Aaron Turner roar vocally.
Also, to my ears, there is something of very early Acid King to the sound of closer ‘You Thought Wrong’, although that could just be me remembering Acid King wrongly. It’s been a while.
So, a welcome return to Pedro Ortiz – who, I’ve recently been assured, is also polishing off a bunch of unfinished Green Sky tracks as I write this – and a hope that Euro-Asia will hang around a little longer than Green Sky and manage to be a more productive venture for him.
I’m crossing all of my available appendages.
Label: Self Released
Scribed by: Paul Robertson