Review: Giöbia ‘Acid Disorder’

2009’s debut full-length Hard Stories and 2010’s Come And Get Me EP saw Giöbia adopt a ‘60s Nuggets garage rock approach with influences such as The Seeds, The Standells and other such outfits taking precedence. 2013’s Introducing Night Sounds was where the band really started to establish the cool psych/space rock sound for which they are known today. From there we would get 2016’s The Magnifier, 2020’s ace Plasmatic Idol (reviewed by yours truly) and 2021’s split with The Cosmic Dead The Intergalactic Connection – Exploring The Sideral Remote Hyperspace.

Giöbia 'Acid Disorder'
Giöbia ‘Acid Disorder’ Artwork

In case you were unaware, Giöbia are an Italian quartet from Milan whose line-up consists of Bazu on vocals and strings, Detrji on bass, Melissa on synths and vocals and Pietro on drums. In addition to the aforementioned releases, there is also 2020’s Heart Of Stone/Handle Song double-sided single, the What Have You Done/Silver Machine double-sided single and 2017’s Live Freak live recording.

Queen Of Wands is akin to Close Encounters of the Third Kind meets the more space rock orientated wing of krautrock ala Ash Ra Tempel and The Cosmic Jokers. A tougher Hawkwind edge is also evident towards its closing minute making for a cracking opener. The Sweetest Nightmare is the album’s shortest tune at a near four minutes, and unlike its predecessor, it is less sprawling and with a heftier groove more commonly associated with stoner rock (think Nebula). One minor quibble would be that the vocoder style vocals can prove a little off-putting, however, it is a decent track notwithstanding.

Consciousness Equals Energy is a quote attributable to Ram Dass (Richard Alpert), an American spiritual teacher and guru of modern day yoga. The track meanwhile is full of meaty riffing and features the kind of chanting one might commonly associate with the Hare Krishnas; it has that mesmeric other-worldly Indian charm, but unlike the likes of Kula Shaker, is actually worth listening to. Screaming Souls marks Acid Disorder‘s halfway point and there is some amazing Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin-esque style bluesy guitar work going on which melds beautifully with the band’s spacey atmospherics courtesy of Melissa‘s brilliant synth work. I’m also reminded of bands such as Spacemen 3 and Loop which can only be a good thing.

It is pure krautrock improvisation…

Blood Is Gone is an unusual track and one which takes a couple of listens to get a handle on with Samsara Blues Experiment vibes aplenty while Circo Galattico (Galactic Circus) is a stupendous instrumental where, to quote the promo-notes for the album, ‘Giöbia invite us to enter their realm, that hidden place in the depths of their mind where anything can happen’ and nowhere is this more applicable than this intriguing number. It is pure krautrock improvisation and reminds me of why I fell for that genre in the first place; there is also some progressive rock thrown in ala the first Utopia album which for me always ranked as Todd Rundgren’s finest work, so high praise indeed.

In Line has a reverb laden surf feel to it, imagine Dick Dale if he took the universe as inspiration as opposed to the sea, an aural wonder to behold. Finally, and maybe it’s because I’ve been jamming Ride a lot recently, but Acid Disorder has a slight hint of shoegaze about it, especially in the vocal department. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Messer’s Mark Gardner and/or Andy Bell had guested. A peach of an album closer.

Acid Disorder achieves that difficult balancing act of both experimenting and retaining the core sound for which Giöbia are renowned and loved for (especially by me). An excellent record whose resonance increases after successive listens.

Label: Heavy Psych Sounds
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Reza Mills