Borracho Set Aug. 6 Release for Pound of Flesh; Preorder Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 28th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

borracho

I know, I know, a double-LP is all cool and stuff, and two vinyl versions and that’s pretty special. But a jewel case CD with a four-panel insert? That’s got me grinning like the Drake meme. My jam. And a jewel case feels like a novelty at this point, so yeah, I’m on board for that.

Aug. 6 is the release date for Borracho‘s fourth album, Pound of Flesh, and considering the fact that it marks a decade since their debut, you almost have to sit back and look at the career they’ve put together. Especially since they didn’t end up being the band they started as, losing their frontman after that first record, their accomplishments are all the more impressive. And you know what? They’ve earned everything they’ve gotten, working with labels like Ripple Music, Cursed Tongue and Kozmik Artifactz, shows at home and abroad, fest appearances, wide-ranging accolades and all of it. Solid heavy rock and roll band. I’ve heard the new record. It’s long, but they earn that too. It’s awesome, and it’s another step forward for them.

I guess what I’m saying is “fucking a, new Borracho.” I’m gonna try to get one of these dudes on board for a video interview before the record’s out too, and there’ll be a review and all that whatnot, so keep an eye out. We’ve got time.

Here’s preorder info:

borracho pound of flesh

BORRACHO – New LP Pound of Flesh available August 6. Pre-order NOW!

Our 4th record Pound of Flesh officially drops August 6th and is available for pre-order on CD, digital, and vinyl now on our Bandcamp page: https://borracho.bandcamp.com/

Nine new tracks running more than 50 minutes will take you on a heavy trip from beginning to end. Here’s the first glimpse at the cover art and packaging, all designed by TMD – AKA our very own Tim Martin.

CDs are presented in jewel cases with full color 4-panel insert. But the stars of the show are the two vinyl versions. Two limited edition gatefold 2LP versions are available – Black & Blue, and special edition Multicolor Splatterburst. Side 4 includes a custom etching capturing various elements of the album’s theme. It’s a package you don’t want to miss in your collection. Pre-order NOW!

Pound of Flesh arrives nearly five years after its predecessor Atacama, and just on time for the tenth anniversary of our debut album Splitting Sky. It has been a labor of love, being largely written over a three year period when the band was geographically separated, and mostly recorded ahead of the onset of a global pandemic. The events of the past 16 months delayed its completion and release even further. We couldn’t be happier to finally bring you this amazing package, presented by the always on-point Kozmik Artifactz.

NOTE: if you are located in Europe we highly recommend you place your pre-order directly with Kozmik Artifactz for faster and cheaper delivery.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/BorrachoDC/
http://twitter.com/borracho_DC
https://borracho.bandcamp.com/
http://www.borrachomusic.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz/
http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/

Borracho, “It Came From the Sky” official video premiere

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Shadow Woods Metal Fest V Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 7th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Shadow Woods Metal Fest V banner

Two days, part-outdoors, everybody vaxxed, the Shadow Woods Metal Fest continues to push aesthetic forward while doing so in plague-safe fashion. Shadow Woods Metal Fest V brings campers, cabin-renters and whoever else can find a place to stay together in celebration of anti-genre noisemaking of the sort that might put Borracho and Panopticon on the bill together because screw it life is short and see everything you can while you can. Two days here, really a day and a half, and this might be the last time the fest is held. 200 acres out in the woods. Who could argue? Ever?

Righteous in purpose and execution, fest organizer Mary Spiro sent the following down the PR wire:

Shadow Woods Metal Fest V poster

Panopticon to headline Shadow Woods Metal Fest V

The fifth edition of Shadow Woods Metal Fest (also sometimes simply SWMF or Shadow Woods Music Fest, since it’s not all metal music) will happen Aug 27-29, 2021 in White Hall, Maryland. Bands announced so far include Panopticon, Destroyer of Light, Borracho, Neolithic, Voarm, Witchcryer, Traitor, Altar and the Bull, and Queen Wolf with about 10 more acts to be confirmed.

Tickets may be found on Eventbrite: https://shadowwoods2021.eventbrite.com

Performance times will be Friday between 6 pm and 11 pm and Saturday between noon and 11 pm. There are no bands on Sunday. Although not officially announced, it is has been rumored that ticket sales will be cut off August 13 and no ticket will be sold at the gate. So, plan ahead.

The fest will take place at its traditional location, Camp Hidden Valley, a wooded, 200-acre property about 45 minutes north of Baltimore that hosts everything from weddings to children’s summer camps. There will be two covered stages – one outdoors and one inside the venue’s large, well-ventilated dining hall. This is the layout used during the 2018 fest – the last time the fest was held. Attendees may drive from home, camp, or stay in nearby hotels or private rentals. Most cabin options are already sold out.

Organizers are taking COVID-19 precautions seriously. There will be emergency medical techs and rapid COVID testing available throughout the weekend. They have issued this statement to attendees:

Masking, hand washing, and physical distancing protocols will be in effect during the fest. At this time, we are asking that every participant be fully vaccinated two weeks prior (by August 13) and show your vaccination card upon entry. We are working with an organization to have rapid COVID testing available onsite for a low fee at entry. If anyone tests positive for COVID or has any indicative symptoms such as a fever, coughing, chills, extreme fatigue, etc., we ask that you STAY HOME or leave the fest immediately, even if it is last minute. Everyone will be required to sign the typical camp liability waiver that we have used every year, but it will also include additional language related to COVID. We will be following all the federal and local recommended protocols and guidelines for COVID safety. All this is subject to change based on the current situation with the pandemic

Event organizer M. A. Spiro said that this really will be the last time she will do the fest, although she has admittedly said that before. “This last year without live music has been brutal on everyone and economically devastating,” she said. “I hope people come out for it. The bands need it. The fans need it. The production people need it. But one thing I learned after this last year is that I personally do not have to be the one to do these events any more. It’s a ton of work, a lot of risk financially and emotionally, and I am just not interested in carrying that mantle forward any longer. I would love it if someone created a new camping music fest nearby that I could go to and enjoy. But Shadow Woods as people have come to know it will be laid to rest after 2021. I might continue to do smaller shows in brick-and-mortar venues, but that remains to be seen since we really are not there yet with those locations.”

https://www.facebook.com/events/962682497420440
https://facebook.com/shadowwoodsmetalfest/
https://www.instagram.com/shadow.woods.metal.fest/

Panopticon, …And Again into the Light (2021)

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Borracho Premiere “It Came From the Sky” Video; Pound of Flesh out Early 2021

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

borracho

As they mark the 10-year anniversary of their debut in 2021, Washington D.C. heavy rolling trio Borracho will also release their covid-delayed fourth full-length, Pound of Flesh. Also their second for Kozmik Artifactz, the new Borracho follows some four-plus years on from 2016’s Atacama (review here) and is prefaced by the new video for “It Came From the Sky.” And if the premise of an upcoming Borracho record isn’t immediately enticing, plug your brain into the clip for just long enough to hear guitarist Steve Fisher‘s fuzz riff and that should be more than enough to prick up your ears.

I’m not sure who recorded the thing, and I’m not sure how representative “It Came From the Sky” might be of what surrounds it across the whole of the LP, because I haven’t heard it yet, but Fisher and bassist/backing vocalist Tim Martin conjure up some enviable tonality, and set to Mario Trubiano‘s steady-as-she-goes-and-she-goes-pretty-damn-steady drums, you’re basically getting a lesson in how to do heavy fuzz correctly in 2020.

For Borracho, “It Came From the Sky” also represents something of a turn toward the socially conscious. Can’t argue. Lines like the song’s hook, “What do you want?/What do you want from me?/Whatever happened to the land of the free?/Fear. Control. Fear.,” put emphasis on the paranoia of our age, and the song digs into conspiracy theories and the abiding sense of something having shifted in the reality in which we live. The last runthrough of the chorus, in fact, switches out “the land of the free” for “reality,” in a clever twist that works well rhythmically. You’ll also note that, in the video, all three members of the band are shown speaking various lines throughout, underscoring the notion of their speaking as a group.

And if you missed it above, Borracho hail from the epicenter of alternate-universe-ism that is the American capitol city, Washington “Taxation Without Representation” D.C. I cannot for the life of me imagine what the air in that town might smell like at this point, but as the US moves inexorably toward a presidential election that has the potential to either reinforce or undermine our shown-to-be-oh-so-fragile system of government, it’s only fair that politics, social issues, and so forth should be on Borracho‘s mind. For those of you who might live elsewhere in the world, you’d have to work really, really hard to ignore it otherwise.

With the promise of more to come, enjoy the premiere of “It Came From the Sky” — filmed in isolation I would guess by the band themselves and skillfully edited together by Larry Jackson, Jr. (also of Wasted Theory) — below, followed by some quick confirmation from the band about the record coming out, double-vinyl style.

Dig:

Borracho, “It Came From the Sky” official video premiere

From the forthcoming album Pound of Flesh, coming in early 2021 on Kozmik Artifactz heavyweight 2LP, CD and digital.

Borracho on Thee Facebooks

Borracho on Bandcamp

Borracho website

Kozmik Artifactz website

Kozmik Artifactz on Thee Facebooks

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Days of Rona: Mario Trubiano of Borracho

Posted in Features on May 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

borracho mario trubiano

Days of Rona: Mario Trubiano of Borracho (Washington, D.C.)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

Here we are about eight weeks in, and Borracho hasn’t had a lot of contact since just before the lockdown. We check in by text, and have done the requisite Zoom calls, but it hurts not be able to get in the jam space and play. Especially since we were just hitting our stride after the three years I lived in Peru. The current situation has delayed us finishing up recording on our new LP, which is almost completely recorded except for vocals on three songs. We were scheduled to finish that back on March 29, and while we’ve managed to proceed with mixing, the record won’t be done until we are able to get those tracks finished. But keeping hope for a release later this fall if things don’t deteriorate further. We’ve all been really following the stay home orders, so thankfully we are all healthy, as are our families.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

In D.C. we have been on a stay home order since March 13. We all live in different parts of the city, so it depends a bit where you are, but things are quiet. Now that the weather is turning there’s a lot more exercise and outdoor activity, which can feel weirdly disconcerting. It’s totally natural, but in this context kinda freaks you out. The whole D.C./Maryland/Virginia area is generally in sync on the rules, but since there are so many government and professional jobs around here, a lot of people are able to work from home.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

Well, right before the lockdown even happened D.C. had just lost the Rock and Roll Hotel, a fairly essential mid-sized venue where a lot of the national touring bands from our scene would regularly pass through. Small venues already had the cards stacked against them in D.C. proper, with major neighborhood demographic and economic shifts over the past 20 years, so I fear when they inevitably have to shut down from this crisis the city won’t be left with anyplace for local and smaller touring bands to play or hone their craft, and the scene will be hurt as a result. It obviously hurts not being able to go out to shows, connect with our friends from the local scene, and of course to play shows ourselves. The live streams haven’t been cutting it.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

It really doesn’t feel like we’re getting closer to “getting back to normal,” whatever that will be, but now that this has worn on so long it’s hard to imagine there won’t be some level of pushback to staying home through the whole summer. But the disruptions will definitely wear on, and the economic carnage is kind of hard to even fathom. But I am hopeful that we can weather this as a society, and in time we’ll learn and adapt in ways that could lead to unexpected improvements. As a band, Borracho is committed to getting our new record finished and released, and looking forward to hitting the stage whenever that’s possible.

http://borrachomusic.com
https://www.facebook.com/BorrachoDC/
https://borracho.bandcamp.com

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Borracho to Release 7″ with Jake Starr on Vocals

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 19th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

borracho with jake starr

Five years after joining forces on stage at a Savage Magic Records showcase in California Borracho and former Adam West frontman Jake Starr — currently of Jake Starr and The Delicious Fullness — have put together a two-song 7″ single with a couple of Adam West tracks redone in the studio. Borracho drummer Mario Trubiano played in the more garage-style rocking outfit as well, who were long a staple of the Washington D.C. underground, putting out a massive slew of short releases as well as five full-lengths, the last of which was offered up in 2008.

Something cool for fans either of Starr‘s work or of Borracho, but clearly the kind of thing undertaken because they wanted to do it rather than as any sort of high-profile outing. Still, the most recent Borracho release was 2017’s Riffography (review here), so whatever they’ve got is welcome. One wouldn’t necessarily expect it to lead to any further collaboration, but of course one also never knows pretty much anything, ever, ever, ever, so take that for what it’s worth and maybe just dig into some songs. Cool.

From the PR wire:

borracho with jake starr 7 inch

Borracho with Jake Starr 7″ (SM-046)

If you were there for the Strange Magic Showcase Night #1 in Pomona, CA January 31st, 2015, then you saw Jake Starr take the stage with Borracho and knock out two amazing versions of Adam West classics. It sounded so incredible, we immediately got to talking about getting these two songs recorded in the studio and releasing a 7-inch. Lo and behold, and five years later it has actually happened! Here we have “Sixth Son of a Seventh Son” from Adam West’s 2002 single of the same name, and “Bulletproof” from Adam West’s 2005 album “Power to the People” completely re-imagined and re-recorded Borracho-style!

A side:
Sixth Son of a Seventh Son

B side:
Bulletproof

$10 + postage

300 copies pressed
100 on purple vinyl
100 on green vinyl
100 on traditional black vinyl

Release Date: February 25th 2020

http://borrachomusic.com
https://www.facebook.com/BorrachoDC/
https://borracho.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/SavageMagicRecords
http://savagemagicrecords.com/

Borracho, Riffography (2017)

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Borracho to Release Splitting Sky LP Reissue in May on Cursed Tongue Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

borracho splitting sky vinyl

About a week ago, the news came through that Washington D.C. heavy rockers Borracho had a reissue in the works through Cursed Tongue Records but that the label wasn’t going to reveal which one until it got a certain amount of showoff vinyl pics via the social medias with a hashtag “CTRBorrachoChallenge.” Guess they hit the mark, because today the label has unveiled that it’s the band’s 2011 debut, Splitting Sky (review here), that will see new life on LP this Spring. A May release is expected.

Hard to believe it’s been seven years since Splitting Sky actually came out, even in light of all that Borracho have accomplished in the time since. The album has actually been on vinyl before — No Balls Records out of Germany did a limited run — but I’d be curious to hear if the new remaster from Tony Reed does anything to the balance of the mix, which always seemed to favor the vocals of Noah Greenberg, who left the band before their next reord came out, at the forefront over the riffs.

Either way, Borracho have obviously made an awful lot of new friends since the days of the original Splitting Sky release, so for them and for collectors alike, this seems like another solid pickup from Cursed Tongue, who sent the following announcement along the PR wire:

borracho cursed tongue

CTR-008: Borracho – ‘Splitting Sky’ 2018 reissue, newly remastered and with original artwork, the way it has always been intended to look.

Splitting Sky was initially released on CD/digital back in 2011. A limited run vinyl pressing was also made, but copies have long sold out since and second hand prices have fetched stupid prices. Borracho are full of good momentum and with last years critically acclaimed 3rd full length ‘Atacama’ (Kozmik Artifactz) and the recent released compilation album of singles entitled ‘Riffography’ the band has a lot going on. The winds are blowing in the band’s favor and there’s no better time than now to reissue this great desert stoner rock album that by some critics and fans alike already has been heralded as a new-classic.

Cursed Tongue Records is inclined to give ‘Splitting Sky’ a well deserved makeover, brushing of all the cobwebs and breed new life into the furrows of this hard-hitting rock. The vinyl re-issue is entirely newly remastered for optimal vinyl playback by no other than Tony Reed and it’s also featuring the original artwork with new layout and design. Splitting Sky will thus yet again be available for the vinyl fans, but this time around the way it was initially intended to look and sound while bearing all the hallmarks of high quality and attention to detail that a Cursed Tongue Records release has come to offer.

BANDCAMP (stream/download): http://borracho.bandcamp.com/album/splitting-sky

BIO:
Borracho is a three piece heavy rock band from Washington, DC. In the five years since releasing their 2011 debut Splitting Sky, they have become a staple of the Mid-Atlantic — and US — stoner rock scene. 2013’s follow up Oculus highlighted a band in metamorphosis, moving the band forward sonically with a leaner lineup, but continuing their emphasis on song construction and memorable melodies. With a substantial offering in Ripple Music’s 2015 inaugural Second Coming of Heavy, Chapter One, the band showed their continued commitment to the almighty riff, and plenty of variety in their approach, even within only 22 minutes of scathing rock.

Along with their two LPs, Borracho has dropped a half-dozen limited edition vinyl singles and split 7”s to satisfy fans and collectors around the globe. The band has worked with labels from the US, Spain, Germany, and Japan to get their music to the masses, and has teamed up with similar acts Cortez, Geezer, and Eggnogg — even their own former band Adam West — on split releases. The past two years has pushed Borracho to both Europe and the west coast of the United States to preach their gospel of low and heavy grooves.

With the 2016 release of their third LP Atacama, the band is primed for a larger audience, with a totally organic and diverse collection of heavy anthems to get people up onto their feet and raising their fists in a glorious Hallelujah.

2018 sees the Borracho’s 2011 debut album reissued on vinyl via Cursed Tongue Records and furthermore the band has also started working on their 4th full length album. So the band might be seasoned but the three gringos behind the stearing wheel are far from done, quite opposite they seem to age in style and class, remaining everso evident and vibrant. Only a few things in life are for certain; one of them is that Borracho came to play heavy-AF riffs, rock-out and have a good time – and they never left!

CTR-008, Borracho – ‘Splitting Sky’, official release date: May 2018
Pre-orders start in April.

Borracho is:
Steve Fisher – Lead Guitar & Vocals
Tim Martin – Bass
Mario Trubiano – Drums

(Noah Greenberg handled vocal duties on Splitting Sky, but afterwards he left the band and moved abroad.)

Produced, recorded and mixed by Frank Marchand in Studio A at Airshow Mastering, Takoma Park, Maryland in March 2011. Mastered for vinyl by Tony Reed of HeavyHead Recording Co. All words and music by Borracho. © 2011 Repetitive Heavy Grooves Music. Band photography by Margaret Allen. Cover concept, layout and design by Tim Martin Designs, Washington, D.C. Additional design and artwork for this vinyl edition by Michael Andresakis.

Track listing:

Side A
1. Redemption
2. Concentric Circles
3. Bloodsucker
4. Grab The Reins

Side B
5. All In Play
6. Never Get It Right
7. Grinder

http://borrachomusic.com
https://www.facebook.com/BorrachoDC/
https://borracho.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords/
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtongue
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/

Borracho, Splitting Sky (2011)

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Borracho to Release LP on Cursed Tongue Records — But Which One???

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Here’s a fun one: We know that D.C. heavy groovers Borracho recently issued their Riffography (review here) collection spanning their 10 years together front to back with assorted unreleased or at very least rarer-than-not tracks. That came out through Ripple Music. Their preceding 2016 full-length, Atacama (review here), came out via Kozmik Artifactz, where 2013’s Oculus (review here) and their 2011 debut, Splitting Sky (review here), landed through Strange Magic Records and No Balls Records, respectively.

Now. One of these LP offerings has been picked up for a vinyl release by Cursed Tongue Records, but the label isn’t quite ready to say which one. What they’re doing instead is hosting an Instagram challenge where you put your favorite Borracho platter on your turntable, snap a picture of it on your fancy phone, and post it up on Instagram with the hashtag “CTRBorrachoChallenge.”

As soon as they get to 30 posts, Cursed Tongue will reveal which album it’s releasing. See? I told you it was a fun one.

Details follow:

borracho cursed tongue

-|- CTR-BORRACHO CHALLENGE -|-

CTR has just announced the signing of mighty Borracho out of DC, US for impending vinyl release. However, before we reveal what album we are talking about you will have to accept a little challenge!

The idea is to get many release pictures posted all around Instagram in order to draw attention toward the Borracho. They have released many things on vinyl along the years; so many people have them in their collection; they just need to dust them off and blast them on their turntable!!!

Dust off one of your Borracho vinyl copies and post a picture of it with the following hashtag #CTRBorrachoChallenge

Once we get 30 posts, we will unveil the album details \,,/

Meanwhile, you can take all the guesses you want

#CursedTongueRecords #CTR #Borracho #BorrachoBand

Borracho is:
Steve Fisher – Guitar, Vocals
Tim Martin – Bass
Mario Trubiano – Drums

http://borrachomusic.com
https://www.facebook.com/BorrachoDC/
https://borracho.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords/
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtongue
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/

Borracho, Riffography (2017)

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Borracho, Riffography: March of Time (and Riffs)

Posted in Reviews on December 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

borracho riffography

Full disclosure, this past summer I was asked by Borracho to write the liner notes for this release. If you think that means there’s a conflict of interest in my covering Riffography on an editorial level, two things: First, I took no payment. Second, it’s more of an alignment of interest than a conflict, since if I wasn’t interested in them in the first place, I probably wouldn’t have done the liner notes and I wouldn’t be writing about Riffography again now. Still, if you think that means I can’t be impartial, well, impartiality is a myth and I write about the records I feel like writing about. Get over it.

I’ll admit I didn’t think much of Borracho around the time of the Washington, D.C.-based heavy rockers’ 2011 debut, Splitting Sky (review here). I’d heard significant hype about the then-four-piece (always a turnoff) and I found the album in need of a deeper-sounding mix and an editorial impulse. Promising “Repetitive Heavy Grooves” as a slogan, it delivered, but didn’t seem to have the dynamic behind it to stave off redundancy while riding its formidable grooves. Part of my issue as well was the gruff vocal approach of guitarist Noah Greenberg, who was too far forward ahead of his and Steve Fisher‘s guitars. I mention this only to emphasize the most underappreciated and undermentioned aspect of everything Borracho have done since Splitting Sky: their growth.

Now the trio of Fisher, bassist/backing vocalist Tim Martin and drummer Mario Trubiano, they’ve never put out a release that did not showcase marked progression from the one before it, and it’s precisely that story that Riffography (on Ripple Music) is telling as it marks a decade since their first outing, a split 7″ with Adam West the featured track from which, “Rectify,” opens here in suitably raw and rudimentary fashion. Cuts from Borracho‘s three to-date LPs — Splitting Sky, 2013’s Oculus (review here) and 2016’s Atacama (review here) — aren’t featured (one exception), but the narrative arc of Borracho‘s ongoing creative development is clearly represented nonetheless across a packed-in 13 tracks and 75 minutes of weighted riffs, nodding rollout and periodically driving thrust.

Key moments of transition — most notably the departure of Greenberg from the band following Splitting Sky and Fisher taking hold of the frontman role — are depicted, and between “Rectify” and early off-album pieces like “Mob Gathering,” “Circulos Concentricos,” and “Short Ride (When it’s Over),” the collection effectively sets up a timeline that ends with the three songs from Borracho‘s portion of the first installment of Ripple‘s The Second Coming of Heavy (review here) split series — a pivotal moment of arrival in 2015 — and their latest single, “Border Crossing” (premiered here).

The very nature of a release like Riffography is such that, in order to work, it needs to be honest on the level of “warts and all.” It’s true that in the years since Splitting Sky, Borracho have built and worked hard to maintain significant momentum when it comes to their stylistic maturation, the chemistry between Fisher, Martin and Trubiano and amassing an audience. As far as narratives go, theirs is cleaner than most.

borracho

But still, Riffography tells the story from all sides, and while largely consistent on the basic level of their sound — the band has worked over the years on multiple occasions with producer Frank “The Punisher” Marchand — these songs aren’t without their bumps and/or bruises. Of particular note is a version of “Stockpile” with Greenberg still in the lineup. That track would appear on Oculus with Fisher on vocals, but it speaks directly to that essential transition in the group and to their trying to make it work as a foursome despite their original singer moving away.

And for what it’s worth, they seem to have learned lessons from their first LP in terms of finding a balanced approach. By the time they get into “Know My Name” from their 2014 split with Boston’s Cortez (review here), however, it’s Fisher up front, getting his footing as a singer and setting in motion a process still happening in building his confidence at the mic while also holding down the fuzz riffing that has helped earn the band such wide distinction throughout their time together.

“King’s Disease” from the 2015 split with Brooklyn’s Eggnogg (review here) follows and seems to return to an earlier rawness of approach with dry-sounding vocals, drums and guitar and bass tones, but works well to emphasize the classic-style swing Borracho honed as a three-piece and the way in which their “Repetitive Heavy Grooves” learned at that point to add engaging subtleties to go along with the forward march at their core.

And while I won’t take away from Oculus at all or the role that album played in establishing Borracho as the band they are today, it was their appearance on The Second Coming of Heavy that really solidified their presence and let listeners know who they were going to be. “Fight the Prophets,” “Superego” and “Shark Tank” remain a thick, rolling and satisfying listen — an EP unto themselves — and in light of the band’s to-date high-water mark in Atacama, one can hear the jammy aspects of that record taking shape in the solo sections of “Superego” and in the first half of “Shark Tank” as a precursor to the thrust that follows later.

It would be fair enough to leave the story there, but “Border Crossing,” which is shorter at 4:10, and a cover of Scorpions‘ “Animal Magnetism” originally intended for use on an unmaterialized tribute CD cap Riffography with perhaps a look forward at how Borracho will keep combining the various personality aspects that have emerged in their sound over time. No question Atacama was their greatest triumph to this point — and well it should be — but Riffography makes its point unarguably that Borracho are not now and have never been a band to hold still in their sonic take and not push themselves forward each time out. Accordingly, I’d no more expect their next long-player to rest on Atacama‘s laurels than I expected Atacama to stay in the realm of Oculus.

Further, if one wants to examine Riffography on a meta-level, in addition to summarizing Borracho‘s first decade together, it also serves to hold the momentum until that proverbial “next album” arrives, which again, is something they’ve always done so well. It might seem like a curio or a piece for fans more than casual listeners, but in both its exclusives and its gathered inclusions, Riffography puts due emphasis on how special a band Borracho have become over the last 10 years and reminds that their evolution is ongoing. For that, it is ultimately about their future nearly as much as their past.

Borracho, Riffography (2017)

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