ALBUM REVIEW: Magella – Quiet Confusion

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Bringing a fiery rock ‘n’ roll passion to the world of stoner rock and psych with a heavy dose of old school blues, Italy’s QUIET CONFUSION deliver classic 1970s vibes on Magella. Drenched in fuzz and recorded the “old fashioned way”, Magella is the band’s tribute to unconstrained creative freedom as they venture through various soundscapes to bring their quirky brand of rock to the world. With the latest additions of Roberto Panarotto (bass) and Giovanni Franceschini (drums) alongside stalwart member Antonio Cortina (vocals/guitar), the revamped power trio give QUIET CONFUSION a passion for groove that is infectious. Refreshingly old school, delightfully psychy and relaxed in flow, Magella is a story that takes place under the hazy, orangey yellow light that comes from a red hot and glowing valve amplifier.

The penchant for jamming is in the very heart of Magella, and as a result it sounds bigger, better, dirtier and grittier than the band’s previous albums. With more expressive and dynamic bass lines, and stronger rhythm sections as a whole, the album feels like the truest representation of QUIET CONFUSION to date, igniting a new fire within the band. Capturing the strength and dynamism of a live show, Magella doesn’t stand still. The album constantly moves, evolves and morphs into something different with each passing moment, unafraid to explore as many different musical avenues as possible. With a more natural chemistry between the band’s members it feels like the trio have finally found a formula that works for them, as Magella has a wonderful cohesiveness. With that in mind, the majority of the songwriting feels very instinctual, the mood of the mount guiding the musical decisions. If it were a witch’s cauldron of bluesy stoner psych rock each song would be a new and fresh ingredient that serves to enhance the already vibrant flavours.

With the explorative nature of the album, it can be hard to pin down exactly what it is but one thing that remains the same throughout is the 1970s vibe. The vintage style recording adds a significant depth and warmth to the album, perfect for long summer evenings on the road. Each song envelopes you in the mellow and homely fuzz as various other effects acrobatically swirl the songs around your brain. The only downside to all this is the lyrics get a bit lost in the layers of groove and fuzz, making them on occasion hard to distinguish, yet the vocal melodies still shine through by intermittently floating in and out throughout the bluesy guitar magic and funky bass grooves. Even so, there is a swaggering confidence about this album, marching to its own beat it just fills you with a buzzing feel good factor.

The album starts with a fiery outburst in the form of Long Wave, a gritty garage rock riff leads the charge before morning into an energetic groove that gets you moving. This template is pretty much the same for Plastic Man but with the addition of slapped bass. The bass gives this song its dynamism as the guitars are allowed to take a step back to explore a jangly melodic motif. Lady In Blue and Wastin’ Time both have dance like rhythms that’ll have you tapping your feet, with the former delivering a brilliantly heavy stoner riff towards the end. However, after these four tracks, QUIET CONFUSION go on a different tangent, bringing in more psychedelic elements from Sweet Noise onwards. It’s as if you’ve had the party and now it’s time to chill out in the fading sunlight as whatever substance takes effect. A much more chilled out second half of the album explores a vibrant selection of sounds and effects. After Sweet Noise and Behind The Sun lull you into a trance, Droppers brings back that fiery energy and shakes you up with a massive chorus riff. Album closer JJ is six minutes of space rock magic – a spacey and chilled out track that helps you calm down after all the excitement.

This new look QUIET CONFUSION is exciting and intriguing. As they explore new areas of their sound the natural chemistry and jamming skill shines through more than ever before. Magella is definitely an album to be enjoyed in the hot sun with a cold beer; summery and spacey yet highly energetic, this eclectic mix will definitely keep you on your toes.

Rating: 8/10

Magella - Quiet Confusion

Magella is set for release on July 15th via Go Down Records.

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The post ALBUM REVIEW: Magella – Quiet Confusion appeared first on Distorted Sound Magazine.

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