LabelAt A Loss Recordings
03. The Fool
05. Calling All Curs
10. Waning Divine
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Totimoshi have been slowly perfecting their brand of skull cracking hard rock for over a decade. While the band’s earliest material was considered by many critics to be nothing more than a rehashed version of the Melvins, Totimoshi have been on a triumphant warpath over the past five years. Creating their signature sound with a unique culmination of hard rock’s finest qualities pulled from a plethora of sub-genres, there is one ultimate constant… heaviness. Recently uprooting from Oakland to southern California, the band has also found a new label home with At A Loss Recordings. Their sixth album Avenger finds the band picking up where the fantastic Milagrosa left off, expanding their dynamic sound in bright new desert rock tinged directions, while still forging a path of sludgy destruction in the process. The trio combines splintering shards of alternative metal, classic rock, punk, stoner rock, doom, and grunge into nine explosive songs with shimmering diversity without abandoning cohesiveness.
After a brief introduction of indecipherable drunken rambling, the blast of the record’s title track roars out at full force. A jagged and hypnotic riff is propelled by the insistently throbbing bass groove and shape shifting rhythms, evident Totimoshi’s sonic arsenal relies equally on punk as it does prog. The propulsive riff bends and breaks into a thick and infectious guitar solo that never remains in the same place for too long. The opening of “The Fool” is devoured by a deep bass line before singer/guitarist Antonio Aguilar’s warped riffs and delicate vocal melody become primary focus on their homage to the hard rock of the 70s. The enormous hook is only trumped by the guitar heroics, as Aguilar repeatedly proves himself to be one of alternative metal’s most creative guitarists. The brutal sludge of “Mainline” is completely unchained and raw, as Aguilar’s shouts have a drunken recklessness to them, sprawling over the crushing rhythm section which features a guest appearance from Melvins drummer Dale Crover. The ominously slow roaring doom is balanced by an infectious blues undertone before the entire song makes an unexpected tempo shift into upbeat surf punk territory with infectiously bizarre gang vocals and a welcome organ accompaniment for added texture.
“Calling All Curs” is a ferocious instrumental workout, carried on the backbone of Meg Castellanos’ massive subsonic bass groove and Chris Fugitt’s thrashing drum fills. The two play off each other with brilliant chemistry as the guitars convulse around the dense rhythmic fury. “Rose” is a straight forward take on classic 70s hard rock in sound and structure, with an anthemic chorus and gorgeous vocal harmonies. “Opus” finds the trio back in the realm of swampy doom inspired blues metal. Aguilar’s creative guitar playing rotates between the speakers as the band slam forward like an avalanche. “Leaves” begins with an eerily mellow grunge tone reminiscent of Alice In Chains before eventually taking off with a buzzing low end stampede and swarming guitars. “Snag” is an interesting moment in the record, considerably more indie rock than any sort of metal, with fuzzy guitars flooded with the kind of blistering echoed distortion that would make J Mascis proud.
Totimoshi bring in a couple more of their high profile friends for album closer “Waning Divine,” which features Mastodon’s Brent Hinds and Neurosis’ Scott Kelly. Stranded somewhere between psychedelic space rock and the lowest depths of doom metal, the band go out with a massive amount of atmospheric power, exploding into their guests’ signature sounds and emerging together victorious. Totimoshi have delivered another defining moment in their career that continues to get better with age.