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23 September 2011

[Review] Distortion Tamers - Junglehead Stories

I want to be clear with you. This album has nothing to do with Downtuned Magazine's spirit. It doesn't belong to any of the "downtuned" genres I'm trying to support through this effort. You see Distortion Tamers is a garage punk'n'roll band but in this case I'll make an exception for a couple of reasons. First of all because they were kind enough to come in touch with me, let me hear their album and eventually like it. Secondly, their drummer (Christophoros Triantaphillopoulos) is also a member of  the well-known Greek psych-sters Purple Overdose and No Mand's Land. And last because their music style is similar to one of the greatest Greek bands, The Last Drive. Enough with the "excuses", let's get to the point...

Coming from Athens, Greece Distortion Tamers were formed in 2009 by Kostis Anagnostopoulos, Christophoros Triantaphillopoulos and the band's youngster Stelios Voumvakis. In May '10 they played their first gig, opening for The Last Drive. Few days ago, they released their debut album "Junglehead Stories".

Now their music's basis is a mixture of rock'n'roll and garage with punk rock bits in it. It's quite hard for me to describe their sound exactly as well as give you some reference points for it. Don't get me wrong but it's not the kind of music I usually dig so I'm not familiar enough with these genres. Anyway, I listened "Junglehead Stories" quite a few times in order to like it. Not that is bad or boring but I wanted my time to get used to it. Nevertheless, in the end I was rewarded. The album has a great flow and is balanced between more slow-driven trippy tunes and high-energy bursts. Kostis (guitar) and Christophoros (drums) definitely show their skills and experience while Stelios' bass under-tunes complete the deal by creating a solid, thick sound. The only downside I personally found was the vocals which didn't stick good with the rest at some specific parts but judging them as a whole are as I expected to be in a disc like this.

I suppose that their live performances will definitely kick-ass 'cause this kind of music is meant to be played live. From the album's songs, I have to say that I liked more the ones that are much closer to my listenings like the "Sunday Of The Dead" (great bass lines), the instrumental "Swell" which is the perfect soundtrack for drinking whiskey in a smokey, dirty bar in the middle of a desert and the last ones "Rage" and "Hey Bro". Especially the second one is awesome! Heavier, downtuned, repetitive... In tracks like these, the trio's previous experience in other bands comes to surface even more...

While I was writing this review, I was listening to "Junglehead Stories" and I kept finding things that make me like it even more. And I can't see why not. The compositions work fine, they're good musicians and their playing is passionate. The bottom line is that either you're fond of this kind of music or not, you'll find something at least enjoyable in this one. They give their soul after all...

Tracklist:
1. New Sunrise
2. Sunday Of The Dead
3. Bad Dog
4. Give Me Soul
5. Better Move On
6. Swell
7. Down In The Hole
8. Motorcity Surf
9. Rage
10. Hey Bro

If you're interested in purchasing their album (physical / digital copy) check their page above for info about where you can find it.

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