Say Psych: Album Review: Las Cobras – Temporal

Rating: 8/10

Psychedelia has always been in South America’s culture and history, ingrained since the 1960s with the politically charged tropicalia movement and things aren’t so different now. A great host of bands have rapidly become well known names in the circuit, such as Föllakzoid, Hurricane Heart Attacks and The Holydrug Couple. The latest addition to the roster hail from Uruguay, Las Cobras.

Comprised of Sofía Aguerre and Leandro Rebellato they are a new band, having formed in the summer of 2016, yet their debut album Temporal betrays none of their youth and their mesmerising sound is sure to place them firmly on the radar of psych fans across the globe. This groove laden, electronic based psychedelic offers a metaphysical journey through layers of sound produced by warped synths, Latin percussion, hazy vocals and resonating, fuzzed-out guitars.

The nine track LP released on Fuzz Club Records on 19th May opens with ‘Dark Waves’, a thirty second electronic noise piece which moves into ‘Beating Hard’, which does exactly that with its throbbing beats, pulsing bass line and hypnotic dual vocal play. ‘The Time Has Come’ cleverly places assonant sounds against the vocals whilst plying layer upon layer of fuzzy guitar and a motorik drum machine.

‘Our Love Will Grow’ showcases the experimental, with twinkling synth elements dominating the overall sound, with different toned vocals singing the same lyrics being interspersed with a traditional rock guitar ditty. ‘Al Más Allá’ utilises the beauty of the Spanish language with its enchanting vocals, jangling guitars and drone wrapped synth. ‘Nothing Against You’ channels The Brian Jonestown Massacre throughout with its cheerful tambourine and a tidy guitar progression.

‘So Much Love’, the second single from the LP, delves into darkly enticing psychotropic waters. An unruly bass line is accompanied by swirling drone and a repeated drum pattern, whilst dual vocals swim swathes of delayed reverberation. The track loops through frequencies with ease, drawing attention throughout in an attempt to understand the complexity of elements being aurally absorbed. ‘Same & Again’ pulsates with vibrancy as washed out synth competes with guitar harmonies for dominance, the vocals taking a back seat for the first time. Title track ‘Temporal’ concludes the album in style with bouncing beats, probing bass and hypnotising synth melodies.

Las Cobras offer a kaleidoscope of elements morphing traditional Latin American sounds with the finest elements of neo-psychedelia seamlessly. They have come from obscurity to firmly cement their place in the echelons of South American psych with as strong a debut LP as you’re likely to encounter.

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