Monday, February 26, 2007

Avatar by Comets on Fire

Relatively unknown in these parts, Santa Cruz five-piece, Comets on Fire unveiled this gem nearly 6 months ago to minimal notice. And what a travesty of the music media that this happened, because Avatar is probably one of the best records to come out of the US last year.
Opening with the faux-blues psychadelia of 'Dogwood Rust', the tone is set. Not many bands have the confidence or virtuosity to open their record with a solo and close the same track with about 4 minutes of wigged-out jamming and multiple, simultaneous guitar solos. This is classic rock, today style. Connections to 70s mid-America rock and progressive acts are tenuous on the surface. But listening to Avatar, one gets the distinct impression the band recorded this in the desert, bearded and probably wearing sunglasses, at night-time, in a peyote-fuelled jam session. Like the best of the classic American rock canon.
Shades of classic 70s acts like Zeppelin, Hawkwind and Sabbath flitter around the edge of your awareness, so briefly and flirtatiously that you're not sure you heard them. Mid 1970s excess and indulgence never sounded so good in 2007.

4 stars

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