Review Summary: Like a soundtrack to a smooth sunset drive...
The Greeks have always enjoyed rock & metal music (any kind from psychedelic to heavy and black metal) and developed their own subculture over the past decades. They successfully adopted the stoner wave right from the initial ‘90s wave (see Nightstalker), plus dozens of bands continue to arise each year enjoying both local and international success (see 1000MODS, Planet of Zeus, Naxatras, Godsleep, Villagers of Ioannina City, Last Rizla, etc.). One of the groups that musically sticks out is Tuber, who followed a more electronic route, using Maserati-like grooves fueled by heavy guitars. Their debut, Desert Overcrowded
was a smooth ride with simple yet cocky riffs that created a hazy, summery vibe. Four years later, its successor finally sees the light of day.
While Desert Overcrowded
was a blissful, smoked-out affair, Out of the Blue
revs the tempo up a notch, as well as the power of the guitars. What I like about them is how easily they can build such cool grooves with just a few chords or leads. The songs never get complicated, they simply offer a good time. The title track represents the overall direction really well, growing from ‘80s pastiche: a sequencer and reverbed drums set things into motion, before the guitars crank the tune up. The guys run through a couple of melodic segments embellished by synths, then proceed to a soaring coda. The whole thing feels like the soundtrack to a sunset drive by the sea in a sun-soaked city like Los Angeles or Miami. In fact, the entire LP gives the impression of a more urban counterpart to the debut. ‘Russian’ is a barn burner, leaving the distorted strings to reveal the hardest hitting track Tuber recorded so far. It’s clear they worked on creating a cohesive progression of riffs that has substance, but without taking away the fun or catchiness.
Halfway into this affair, ‘Cat Class’ and ‘Noman’ keep the party going strong. The former leaves the bass to the forefront, enhanced again by sequencers as well as highly trebled guitars. As we move on to the second part of the song, we’re taken on a sonic labyrinth. Switching from dirty riffs to euphoric leads and constantly adding layers, the finale is just moving. I am happy regarding the ambition to wander into a more progressive territory, adding significant depth to the tunes. In a genre that gets lazier by the year, it’s nice to see a band that rides against the grain, wanting to evolve not stagnate on a tried & tested formula. ‘Noman’ offers some rest, starting slow with some windy notes alongside a straightforward beat, however, it gradually picks up through a delightful, melodic groove. Since they couldn’t resist (and for the better of it), we receive another round of delayed riffage to end on a high note. Moreover, ‘Moon Rabbit’ reminisces early God is an Astronaut, using high pitched leads over a chunky bass line. Still, as they would retreat into clean, moody passages, the Greeks bring forth the dirt. The warmth of their sound is what always gets at you every time.
Out of the Blue
isn’t an album meant to be dissected and get all elitist about it, because its purpose is to be immediately fun. It boasts that familiar ‘80s sound blending with the current rock sound (pretty much a mix of Maserati, God is an Astronaut and even some Russian Circles here and there). Tuber carved their own niche and continue to hone their chemistry without getting pretentious. This way, the guys crafted an impressive LP that is just as detailed as it is catchy. Roll with it.