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Baku Llama - Eris CD (album) cover

ERIS

Baku Llama

 

Eclectic Prog

3.47 | 9 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars BAKU LLAMA's debut shows some promise, but they still have a long way to go before becoming an excellent addition, in my opinion.

The music, as described above, has elements of jazz, psicodelic rock, krautrock, and other genres here and there. For the most part, it's instrumental, with just a few tracks featuring vocals. The sounds are very spacey, kind of narcotic, and very dense. The tracks tend to be very mono-thematic and repetitive, with dynamics, improvisation and textures being the only elements that bring about any change within them.

Two things bother me about BAKU LLAMA's music: one, related to the music itself, is the poorly developed themes and the lack of variation in the structures of the tracks. All songs start with a theme, usually on keys or guitar over a pulsing, menacing, distorted bass and softer drums, and this theme remains the only one throughout the entire track, with no secondary themes whatsoever. The only changes are in intensity, in textures (though not that elaborated) and in the soloing that goes over the main rhythmic section. Usually it is the keyboard the instrument that takes the theme through different stages, all of them very similar to each other. The variation work is not that efficient, and we end up with songs that sound like recorded jamming sesions. I'll be honest: I have played music very similar to this one with a band some friends and I used to have, mostly for jamming purposes.

The second thing that bothers me about this release is related, or actually maybe the reason that it happens, to the first one. The musicianship is still slightly choppy in some players here. The vocals are fine, but they don't appear too often. The guitars are ok but are hardly interesting; the bass plays good lines here and there but falls in constant repetition; the drums are appropriate but lack variation; and finally, the keyboards, the instrument that could make or break this album, sounds like it was played by someone still on the early stages of learning. When the music is repetitive and everything depends on the skills of the solist to make a track interesting, repetitive keyboards are not the answer. I've heard people who don't play keyboards play solos exactly like some on this record, with two fingers, ascending and descending a scale. There are only a few moments when the keyboardist sounds like he has complete control over his intrument.

There are some great ideas recorded on this album, but the lack of development hurts them. The start of most tracks is nothing short of mesmerizing, but constant lack of change makes them become repetitive. The band manages to create music that takes us back to the 70's or 60's, reminds us of the THE DOORS of "The End" or "Not to touch the earth", plays discordant chords, builds tension with menacing bass lines, but some thematic development, at least the most minimal one, would've helped the experience become a much more rewarding one.

As it's a debut, I'll give it 3 stars. If this had been recorded by a seasoned band, I'd have given it 2. But I hear a lot of promise in BAKU LLAMA. I hope they can correct what's wrong and really create a fantastic album the next time around, and I'm sure they have it within them.

This band has a lot of ideas, they just have to learn how to make better use of them.

The T | 3/5 |

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