I can’t claim to have even heard of French power trio Red Sun Atacama prior to their new long-player landing on my doorstep. And I’ve gotta say, based on Darwin, that learning of their existence earlier in my life could only have been a good thing. The stoner meets snarling dirty rock attack on show with Darwin is both impressive and entertaining.
The acoustic intro of 11-CH sounds like a Mariachi band who have been swilling Mexican mouthwash and watching The Good, The Bad And The Ugly on repeat (been there, done that….!), but Furies soon kicks in. The filthy and excellent bass tone of bassist/vocalist Clément Márquez when he locks horns with drummer Robin Caillon to launch into the true heart of Darwin sets the scene for what’s to come. Vinnie Hospital and his ultra-wah heavy guitar attack complete the sound.
Like all good three-piece bands (Killdozer, Motörhead, X, The Thompson Twins etc) ya gotta be able to hold your own and not drop the ball. The songs on Darwin seem to follow a similar style of dynamics, although I’d be somewhat reluctant to call it ‘formulaic’, but each tune (and they’re all long songs) has sections where they drop back a gear or two, and play around with the sonic toolbox they have at hand. As I mentioned earlier, ya gotta be able to play if ya want a three-piece to cut it. Red Sun Atacama get a pass from me on this point!
The songs themselves are all ball-tearers too. Meaty riffs and a shitload of blood ’n’ guts. On Furies, they also employ a neat combined bass/guitar wah-trick to create a sonic projectile vomit which made my ears prick up on the first listen to the album. Lotsa slick bass runs and the guitar and drums are rampant
The stoner meets snarling dirty rock attack on show with Darwin is both impressive and entertaining…
Antares follows that’s another slugfest of a tune, a great solo too and Márquez’s vocals sound like the love-child of David Yow and Jello Biafra, with a sneering grit that’s the money shot for me on Darwin. They fit just right, if you know what I mean! Echoes is shot through with the dark heart of Motörhead and I reckon Fast Eddy would give his stamp of approval to Hospital’s ripping solo on this track.
Revvelator is the shortest track on the album, at five minutes, give or take a few seconds, but if further proof that it ain’t the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog that’ll win out. The ‘mood-swing’ at the midway point of closing track Ribbons could be a Fleetwood Mac outtake, as it gently nudges the listener into oblivion, before the ghost of John Denver steps in to close out the finale.
So Red Sun Atacama have made a hell of an impression on me with Darwin, and I’d recommend it to any discerning rock ‘n’ roll connoisseur (and even a few less discerning fans!). Give it a run with a few beers to wash it down, and I’m sure you’ll be happy as a pig in shit!
Scribed by: El Jefe