Review: Blutbad ‘Alcohodyssey’

When was the last time you embarked upon an Alcohodyssey? I don’t remember either, which is probably the way most excursions along those lines end. Evenings (or days….who am I to judge) often begin with supreme optimism of the future only to end up on a dirty basement carpet using your coat arm like a sleeping bag and a worn-out Chuck Taylor to support your head. How did I get here? I posted what on social media? I’ve been gone for how many days? These are the questions of the forgettable and often forgotten alcohodysseys of the past. However, for those of us looking to re-frame our thinking of the term, Blutbad has provided the perfect soundtrack to an adventure you not only want to remember, but will be anxious to experience again.

Blutbad ‘Alcohodyssey’

Friday, January 31st the Italian rockers will present the world with their first full-length album, Alcohodyssey, via Argonauta Records. At eleven tracks, the album certainly takes the listener on a journey through a landscape full of hard-charging stoner/punk riffs and Lemmy inspired Motorhead-Esq vocals. Just when something seems predictable, another thing occurs. Intentional song structures and clever track listings are evident throughout the release and are elements that truly make the album memorable.

Right from play Blutbad comes out with a straight-set of curveballs. Rather than the dialled to eleven rock you would expect, you get Lost In Space. A digital instrumental (re-visited on the final track) that could easily make its home in a title sequence from an old Nintendo game. Follow that up with Alcohodyssey Part 1. Wonderfully constructed drums lead to the guitar plucking the main riff, only to hit overdrive seventeen seconds in. Not to be outdone by the song’s intro, suddenly the verse comes in and it’s the basslines turn to shine with the percussion before again driving into the heavy chorus. Loud, soft, loud, has been done numerous times.  What sets Blutbad apart is their ability to maintain intensity during the softer sequences.  There is rarely a ‘down’ moment on the album, rather ominous one’s where the listener is waiting and anticipating the next strike.  Whether it’s the punk rock feel of Die Alone or the build-up in Space Tramps, Blutbad leverages their song dynamics in a skilled fashion. 

the album certainly takes the listener on a journey through a landscape full of hard-charging stoner/punk riffs and Lemmy inspired Motorhead-Esq vocals…

These thoughtful decisions are not just isolated to track composition. Every time I felt the album risked slipping into a predictable lane, Blutbad manages to give just enough of a variance in feel to keep the Alcohodyssey interesting and in motion. The track listing is spot on and thought through by the band. Perfectly illustrating this is the placement of I Want To Believe. Spanning from a bass-driven backbone and reverb-laden guitar to churning chords, the song keeps all the intensity of the album, while assuming a more subtle approach. Later this is again seen with Interstellaris 0042; a space-themed intro leads to some of my favourite riffs on the album, giving way to a killer tempo shift around the three-minute mark. 

If you’re looking for the stoner rock soundtrack to your next adventure, Alcohodyssey is a great addition to the line-up. Every album takes you on a journey to a greater or lesser extent but what stands out about the good ones are the variances along the way. Blutbad certainly could speed down the road and arrive from point A to point B quickly and easily. Instead, they’ve decided to exhibit their musicianship to take a few detours along the way and show us things far more interesting that many just miss. Those are the journeys people remember and to their credit, Blutbad has provided us with the roadmap of one well worth it.

Label: Argonauta Records
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Instagram

Scribed by: Scott Anderson