Review Summary: Hot jams and cool atmospheres make for one of Desert Rock's most captivating listens
The prophecies of faux folklore, hovering somewhere between the smoky underbelly of the Sahara desert and the intoxicated basements of Denmark's cultural underground, have foretold of a giant monolith buried beneath from the sands of the Earth. Inscribed on the surface of the monolith are said to be a series of symbols; one depicting the legendary Jimi Hendrix - God of Electric Strings - and another as a series of letters simply reading K-Y-U-S-S. The rest are said to be vague inscriptions of weather, atmosphere, and tranquility. Geologists, cartographers, and paleontologists have searched the world's end in hopes of discovering this historic emblem, but have come up empty handed. As recent rumors begin to develop of extraterrestrial activity, its own historic myth is slowly beginning to surrender to blown proportions. Nonetheless when searching for the monolith, scientists managed to gather a series of six faint recordings that were heard by the field crews during their search throughout the Sahara desert. Now (thanks to the powers of modern technology) scientists have adapted the sounds to a crystal clarity, and have released the series of recordings to the public.
Although in the world of faux folklore, myth slowly dissolves into a watery hyperbole of art criticism. What we're left with is a little band called Causa Sui and their best record to date; Pewt'r Sessions 1. Dabbed into the stoner and desert rock species, Causa Sui is somewhat of a different beast than their hash-wielding contemporaries. While their music almost perfectly concedes with those two classifications, their overall aesthetic exemplifies more jam and improvisational rock tones, with a very subtle touch of prog. The band's encouraging influences of 70s psychedelia, progressive atmospheres, and modern hallucinogens manage to melt together into six heat-driven, free-flowing expressions; each with something different to say.
Causa Sui's signature cascading textures, sweltering solos, and colossal build-ups are all here, but broken down the middle, fifty/fifty. The odd-numbered tracks are lengthy improvised jam sessions that are concisely structured and often times tightly performed, but are always given time to casually grow from a simple grain of sand, to a monstrous pyramid of effortless technical ability and compelling emotions. It's pretty difficult not to become either entranced or completely ape-*** by the time the hypnotic climaxes kick in, after eight or so minutes of foreshadowing. Then you have the even-numbered tracks, which are essentially cool-down pieces to relax to, or to rid the mind-numbing headache you may have after rocking out too hard to the previous piece. These tracks are extremely effective in that sense, but also in the way they evoke such a calm and lush atmosphere in the midst of the chaos of the preceding track.
That cohesive, hot-and-cool vibe Pewt'r Sessions 1 maintains is consequently what makes the album such a compelling listen. In that, there is never the feeling of too much of one particular sound. Each song fundamentally works through a solid formation, a straight line, until the guitar hints of the oncoming storm, and slowly but surely all hell breaks loose. Eventually it disappears into the skies above, and you're left with time to crawl out of your hiding spot and wipe the sand out of your eyes, as a feeling of bliss shakes your core. Although it's only for a little while, because it happens all over again; as a repeating cycle of hot jams and cool atmospheres, for 45 minutes of quality music to get lost in.