I like a good mystery every now and again, so when the link to check out Guerrera came through late last week with no info on the band or so much as a, “Hello please listen to our shit kthxbye,” I did something I wouldn’t usually do in that situation and clicked to take a listen to the band’s Under the Gypsy Sun full-length, which counts itself as blues but is almost certainly right in line with what commonly gets shuffled out as stoner rock. Mid-paced riffs lead through thick grooves and heady psych vibing, fuzz tones, developing into righteous but still directed jams as the songs play on.
Under the Gypsy Sun more or less unfolds in stages. The opening duo of “Believe in Pain” and “Dead Man” take on straightforward stoner drive, the first starting languid and mounting an effective build on its way while the second takes that momentum and pushes it through classic rocking stomp without getting into retroism, but it’s with the shorter “Make Me Feel” that Guerrera really begin to show there’s more to them than just riff cycles and echoing vocals. Tight and efficient, “Make Me Feel” finds immediate contrast in the five-minute “Living for You,” an even more directly linear progression perhaps more telegraphed but no less satisfying than that of “Dead Man” before it.
The next big change follows “Living for You,” however, whenthe 10:39 “Ted Kaczynski” takes hold. Its first three minutes are spent unfolding a sleepy jam, but the song never lacks for movement or a sense that Guerrera don’t know where they’re going. Feeding directly into the closing title-track, the transition from one to the other is so smooth that I have to keep watching the player to see when it’s actually happening. By the time they finish “Under the Gypsy Sun,” heavy psych elements have been introduced and my biggest argument with their initial blues positioning isn’t so much that it isn’t true as much as it’s not at all the whole story.
What is the story? I don’t really know. They’re from Spain, there are four of them and Under the Gypsy Sun is available for free download at the Guerrera Bandcamp. I suppose that hardly makes for a compelling biography or pitch email to send to a reviewer, but in picking out an Add of the Week for this week at The Obelisk Radio, there was little doubt where I’d end up. Check out the full stream of Under the Gypsy Sun below: