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Anadromous - Bliss Out, Vol.7

Mirza

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Album Review

Part of Darla's Bliss Out series, Anadromous finds Mirza mostly pursuing longer efforts, totaling four songs over 40 minutes. Though there are instances here of the group's excellence at mind-melting guitar overload, the quartet finds a generally calmer course here, drawing out the more restrained side of their earlier work to find a new context. The opening track, "Dream of the Fossil Sea," shows how this works well; as everything begins to intensify almost 11 minutes in, it still never quite explodes, with a bit of feedback crumble around the sides left as a hint of what might have been. As always the emphasis is on instrumental work with all vocals absent, with a particular focus on live exploration — one can almost sense the bandmembers testing each other softly with their contributions, finding new ways and new melodies to work with. "Bless This Gathering" finds Mirza at their most overtly rocking for the album, though not quite as totally crazed as some earlier efforts. It's still quite fine, though, getting more and more tightly wound and freaked out until it collapses into a fuzzed-out blast of chaotic static and a series of low drones. "These Are Our Last Days" keeps some of that intensity but carefully underplays it with subtlety, whether from the nagging piano key in the background or the guitar crumble into charging riff that still sounds like it was recorded from one room over. "Aphasia" ends up having the best start of the songs, with almost gong-like percussion and dark, murky loops mixing with very random vocal samples from heaven knows what source. From there the band turns it into a beautiful but still unsettling dream of a track, taking a steady and slow head-nod pace, though in a nice twist from convention the song itself ends at under the five-minute mark rather than well over it.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

Instrumental neo-psych combo Mirza was the brainchild of guitarist Steven R. Smith, who formed the group from the remnants of his previous band, Ursa Minor. Based in San Francisco, Mirza debuted in 1997 with Anadromous, their contribution to Darla...
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Anadromous - Bliss Out, Vol.7, Mirza
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