Wed 22nd February 2017
Hats off to Go Down Records, unwavering in their support of Italian stoner rock since 2003. Along with supporting the bands and enabling the national scene, they provide wider exposure to music that might otherwise not reached our ears. Music like that of Ananda Mida, a name new to me, but one I'm now grateful to have been introduced to.
This is a wonder of stylistic retrovision, backed by some magical musical touch. The classic rock end of stoner, where fuzz is most restrained, meets psych rock mastery in the first couple of tracks, both reminding of Swedes Dexter Jones' Circus Orchestra's uncomplicated but masterful recordings. Aktavas then delves into Wooden Shjips territory, while Lunia mixes in Graveyard or Asteroid reminders, itself then moving towards the spacey sounds of Dead Meadow or Comets on Fire.
It then almost comically lapses, on third track Kondur, showing what can happen with this light fare wanders over an unmarked but important line, straying into cheesy AOR, lyrics such as "I'm swimming in a swimming pool" not helping, even when sung by a vocalist with a resemblance here to Witchcraft's Marcus Pelander. Anulios is also worrisome, so laid back it approaches lounge music, before then breaking into oddball organ prog thing towards the end, strange but compelling.
The prog continues into Passavas, Stinking Lizaveta and the jazzy feel of Fatso Jetson the only apt stoner rock comparisons I can muster, but really this is more in homage to the wig out masters of the 70s. By now, come stoner, lounge, prog or psych, you realise you may as well submit to Anodnatius' whim, as even when it becomes a bit daft it bubbles over with charm. The rest of the album plays out thus, the classic hard rock of the brilliant Ors worth mentioning for nods to The Groundhogs and the great groove it finds.
Much like the surprise arrival and success of Church of the Cosmic Skull last year, Ananda Mida show there's life in these sounds yet, and there's obviously an appetite to hear it too. Quite right. A wonderment of evocative nostalgia, Anodnatius is a joy to sit through.