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Alientar - Alientar CD (album) cover

ALIENTAR

Alientar

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.55 | 4 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars For your pleasure

For me it happens all too rarely these days, but just occasionally I hear a band I have never heard before, and think "this is fantastic". Having heard about as many bands as I have had hot dinners, I find these days that while I can still be impressed by a band when I hear them for the first time, I seldom find myself truly excited. I'm delighted to say though, that ALIENTAR provided one of those rare occasions. This is a wonderful album.

ALIENTAR hail from the West Coast of the USA, around the bay area. To date, this self titled offering is their only album. Their style is best described as Space Rock, and they certainly owe a significant debt of gratitude to HAWKWIND for their music, especially to the "Hall of the mountain grill" era of that band. ALIENTAR take the most melodic elements of HAWKWIND, add some excellent guitar work, and come up with an album which is simultaneously retro and yet totally current.

The album opens with "Sonic wave", and straight away we are into the driving rock of Hawkwind, complemented by a fine synth solo. "Music box" is the first of several feature tracks, running to over 8 minutes. The track is largely instrumental, with only a brief vocal section well back in the mix. There are hints of PINK FLOYD from around the time of "Meddle" with floating sounds and some fine guitar work. As the drums pick up the pace, the guitar sound changes to suit the mood of the piece, as it develops into a mighty sound.

The strangely titled "Kraz-E Naybr" has a more blues like feel, with some terrifically dirty guitar to close. At 9 minutes, "Good luck" is another feature song. The sound here mixes a bit of Tom Petty with the ubiquitous Hawkwind influence, the guitar work once again being the dominant sound. "Stuck to earth" is a gentler number, with an acoustic section to close, leading nicely into the appropriately titled "Bizarre". This nine minute opus starts with a heavy, beat laden riff the track featuring superb guitar and organ solos.

Only "Letting it ride" and "Hypnosis" come across as more prosaic; still decent tracks with fine instrumental passages, but with less to distinguish them.

The music here is not particularly complex in the prog sense. The tracks tend to be long because the band develop them fully, rather than because they jump from theme to theme, or constantly switch time signatures. This gives the album a feeling of great maturity, and indeed accessibility.

Had this album been made by a major band, it would undoubtedly be hailed as a major success, and listed among their best. It seems criminal that it seems destined to languish in relative obscurity. The good new however is that the album is currently available in full for downloading via the band's website. Do yourself a big favour, and give it a try!

Highly recommended.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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