By Erik Vandamme www.musiczine.net (Holland)
The Spanish band Slap Guru released in 2016 a pearl of a debut with ‘Cosmic Hill’. A disc that was received very well especially in the psychedelic rock circles. In the meantime, Slap Guru played a lot of concerts in Spain and Italy and shared the stage with big bands of the scene like Sons of Morpheus and Siena Root. With their second disc ‘Diagrams Of Pagan Life’ Slap Guru also wants to take that step forward to conquer the whole world. With this infectious psychedelic rock, referring to 70s, with blues and stoner influences, that would be possible.
According to the biography of Slap Guru, the band members already shared the stage in other projects, and that is also noticeable. From the first song you can clearly hear that the guys find the feeling between them blindly. Likewise, the fun of the game continually lingers out of the speakers, and you are exposed to a colorful disc that gives you a smile on the face from the beginning to the end. The positive energy that comes out from songs like “Diagrams of Pagan Life”, “Into the gloom”, “To forget to forgive” are the living proof of that. The sun is constantly shining above the clouds without sounding too small.
Slap Guru also moves through a rich past when psychedelic music was at its top, the seventies, but therefore it does not sound dated. On the contrary, the songs all sound fresh and cheerful, as if those 70s started again. And the latter is the thing that attract us more.
‘Diagrams of Pagan Life’ is preferably a plate for gourmets who love that music from those golden times, but also stand with both feet in the present. We are willingly hypnotized by the intoxicating sounds of “Earth Cycle” /”The Same old way” and actually the entire disc. And this without the use of mind-expanding resources. That is not even necessary, because this music has such an intensive effect on your mind, so you promptly start to float across the dance floor until the early hours.
Conclusion: Does Slap Guru bring something new under the sun? No, there has already happened so many things. But these gentlemen do bring out a technically very high-quality, spontaneous disc that sticks to our ribs. Moreover, this Spanish band consists of top musicians who all look the same way, creating a kind of magic that we do not encounter every day. Lovers of the better blues, Stoner to Psychedelic music style can purchase this disc without hesitation, Slap Guru is probably another topper in that style of music. But one to cherish.
By Thomas Neumann, “Ox Fanzine”, (Germany)
From the speakers comes out a powerful, psychedelic blues rock, the guitars do a hard work and the rhythm section is deep in the groove, hammering a heavy beat. The album could be ordered in the record store even under “heavy rock” – but it doesn’t matter – the guitars keep chasing each other with solos and the strokes alternate between the slow blues rock and the huge soundwall – especially when the fat bass line goes up to the bluesy feel-good atmosphere and then goes heavily down.
The Spanish-Italian Stoner-BluesRock band presents maybe a not so original, but a thrilling album before, on which there is also no lack of musical ideas. “Into the gloom” is just one example. Excellent!
By Bartolomeo Varchetta http://www.artistsandbands.org (Italy)
It might seem like a contradiction but Slap Guru brings a breath of fresh air from the past.
In fact they manage to explore in a very convincing way territories already explored in the ’70s by bands such as Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull (the pre-prog period) and so on, offering a hard rock that tends towards the hard blues, heavily contaminated by psychedelic atmospheres typical of that period.
The taste is certainly retro, both in the compositional architecture and in the sonorities, but it is proposed with such conviction and stubbornness that nevertheless manages to catalyze the attention of those who have 70s music in their blood.
Slap Guru is an Italian/Spanish band that has been already known a couple of years ago with a full-bodied EP titled “Cosmic Hill” whose only flaw was the limited length and from which their great potential was already evident.
Their image has now consolidated with this excellent long-lasting record (and finally the duration is that of a real album as it should be), aimed at listeners who do not seek innovation at all costs.
Diagrams of pagan life is a record that smacks of rust and dust, it is an album made of worn sticks and plectrums, it is a sanguine album made of distortion and melody, made of pedals and old amplifiers…. and that takes the distance from the modern, tawdry, programmed avant-garde hard rock.
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