Athens’ basement psych-punk outfit BAZOOKA has returned with their fourth album via Inner Ear Records, taking us on a journey to a world above the earth, somewhere else. Their record “Somewhere Elsewhere” consists of ten songs and sees the five-piece band in a psychedelic and very raw sound, much like garage punk with a great sense of youth mixed with frustration vibes.
“Somewhere Elsewhere” is all-out psychedelic sonic surf vibes, unhinged in-your-face garage tunes in the sun, and all the fuzz distortion and gory sounds your heart could desire. Big bass lines, squelching guitars, and wicked beats elevate fast-paced psych punk sky high without being saturated across the ten tracks, but just great to offer you moments of somber reflections before taking you back to the party.
Impressively, while “Somewhere Elsewhere” is a collection of hot-blooded music, it’s full of accessible and comfortable blanket psych-punk. Are you a couch cosmonaut who drinks chai Tea while Midsommar plays on the TV? Then this record it’s for you. While I’m not a substantial psych-punk fan myself, the genre never felt so good.
Opener ‘Kata Vathos (Deep Inside)’ is a solid introduction to BAZOOKA and what they do. The track builds slowly, with playful and theatrical vocals to a mind-melting fuzzy noise, complete with a melodic guitar solo. You will nod your head immediately when hearing Nirvana’s soft influences, thinking of that perfect situation to bust the song out and show it to your friends. Then ‘Krifto (Hide and Seek)’ uses a lot of country-blues soundtrack elements but takes things back down to the punk highway, with head-nodding and heavy-lidded rhythms.
‘Kapou Allou (Somewhere Elsewhere)’ instantly recalls the oriental drum and guitar aesthetic, showing a cohesive spectrum of sounds. The song captured the band’s aura and packaged it up ideally. More than that, BAZOOKA beautifully masters every element of this sonic space travel. The track had me from the get-go; I’m not going to lie, this was a favorite.
‘To Oniro Ton Palavon (The Dream of Fools)’ is a bit more chill than the previous track, but once again, it draws amazing additional elements of what the BAZOOKA experience is all about.
‘Dikia Mou Ali this (My Own Truth)’ is driven by a punk bassline, true to form, building itself into a tinnitus-inducing blast of noise. The track is incredibly energetic, and the hypnotic guitar combination is mesmerizing and sucks you deep into the song.
‘Kararameni Anthropi (Damned People)’ and ‘Proedriki Froura (Presidential Guard)’ continue the same path while featuring crusty guitar melodies and a pocky drumbeat. On the other hand, ‘Pano Apo Ti Gi (Above the Earth)’ transcends into a much softer and melody-driven entity that has you questioning whether you are listening to the same. It has perfection stamped all over it, introducing us to a different side of the band that’s deeply rooted in influences from 70s rock music.
‘Jazzooka’ is a sublime, slow-burning jazz and punk number that could easily be mistaken for being from another time. While we’re almost to the album’s closer, there are still surprises, as fresh yet dreamy vocals complete this setting stunningly.
The album ends with ‘Veloudino Kako (Velvet Evil),’ and it’s not quite like anything you’ve heard on the record. The track seems provocative and raw, showing that Bazooka is not afraid to push the boundaries – from clever manipulation of genres to powerful messages, these guys know what they are doing, and they do it loud and great. “Somewhere Elsewhere” is an utterly brilliant slab of punk-laced psych, offering the scene something hard to come by, despite what it may consider about itself, bewildering creativity.
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