REVIEW ::: Bonetti ‘Dos Mescal Para Vamanos’ (Itchy Pig Records & The Audatious Art Experiment)

Bonneti’s debut release mixes a heady brew of vividly narrative lyrics with pounding rhythms to create an EP of scintillating stoner rock that sees a British man reflecting on his experiences of Latin America culture as he travels around Mexico, Columbia and ever further afield.

Opening track, ‘It’s All Stopped And We’re Not Going To Get Home’, is a blend of sounds, ranging from those of a busy street, to a mariachi band, to snippets of an mildly frustrated voice expressing their displeasure at the chaos surrounding them. It manages to convey the assault on the senses you experience when throwing yourself into the tumultuous cacophony of journeying in a land that is truly foreign to you; that swift, dawning realisation that you’re definitely not in Kansas any more.

This blends into ‘London Pleasures’, a track that sees a slow, pulsating groove beat out by the drums over a gently jostling bass line as a growl of guitar swirls around it, occasionally breaking forth into a sweat soaked melody. The lyrics describe the wanderings of a man who, with little else to do, takes some acid with some German girls and enjoying the ensuing ambles. The part about our narrator bumping into a man reading about Fidel Castro in a hammock on a secluded beach and, resenting his tone, telling him that he prefers Orwell certainly raised a chuckle here!

This is followed by another segue, entitled ‘Bish On’, in which a girl is telling someone that her friend must like him as he puts on a British accent when they talk, another snippet of the encounters that can litter such adventures. Throughout this, a barrage of percussion thunders away in the background, hauling itself from the bowels of the track right up to the forefront, before breaking into track four.

‘Oaxaca’ is a song that deals with the regular sightings of dead bodies littering the side of the road, as viewed on the many bus journeys made whilst travelling around Central and Southern America. The vocals seethe with a restrained passion, whilst the staggering, sizzling sax punctuates a stripped back and woozy groove, that is threatened by the snarling guitar. The imagery and the music perfectly combining to deliver an unsettling delight.

‘Seen His Arse’ is another segue that serves up a flavour of the travels the EP is based around. An organ wheezes with the sounds of ‘Ave Maria’ as our narrator lets forth a stream of the sights he is seeing as he wanders around. The track reminds us of both travellings repetitive nature and how that can be punctuated by unexpected moments of wonder.

‘Flying In To Bogotá’ closes proceedings with the tale of getting hold of some weed in Columbia’s capital intertwined with observations on the city’s beautiful but violent nature. The drums pound out a rhythm that will instantly infect your hips whilst the sultry vocal drips into your ears. Licks of guitar shimmy around the track whilst the bass confidently struts around it. A beautiful track draped in a shroud of menace, musch like the city it delights in.

Bonetti’s ‘Dos Mescal Para Vamanos’, which is released on both Itchy Pig Records (digital) and The Audacious Art Experiment (physical), is a very confident debut that strides forth and arrests your attention from the off. The blend between segues and songs works perfectly, helping to capture the difference between experience and reflection when travelling within some damn fine tunes. Accompanying the EP is a ten page comic book, in which the Liverpool artist Instinctive Squid has produced stunning visual representations of each of the six tracks in his own uniquely warped and psychedelic way.

All in all, this is a quite simply marvellous package of music and art. Sterling work lads!