Castrovalva – S/T

Friends, lovers, we’re back. Holiday was ace, thanks. Did you know Peter Hook has posters all over Valencia?

Castrovalva – S/T (Brew)Castrovalva

This mini-album from Leeds-based ‘experimental’ (if ever a catch-all term was overused, this is the one) rock duo Castrovalva has the entire requisite energy, spasm and verve to align them with their chief influences. Lightning Bolt are perhaps a slightly-too-obvious reference point for clueless press, but one that provides a template for the band’s aim. While they have the aforementioned requisites for this supposed ‘experimental’ rock genre, do they have the other, oft-unassailable factors necessary for success?

At points, this self-titled thrash anarchy is beautifully taut and well-rendered, but the experimentation (as we might term it) could be more frenetic and intuitive. This pair are definitely the product of much gruesome research and rehearsal, but their improvisational impulses might not be as honed yet as they might be. When a groove is established it seems more often than not to be one that could have been dreamt up in the cotton fields, but played at disgusting volume. Furthermore, any tweaks of meter are strictly simplistic extensions of the bar rather than the instinctive accelerations of, say, Castrolava’s labelmates Kong.

When they do reach their zeniths, like on the furious, chugging Bison Scissor Kick, it’s entertainment and reflex boiled down to bare brilliance. More of this might result in the worthy exorcism of ‘the riff’ as a concept for Castrovalva, and the rewards will be all ours to analyse and enjoy.

This will arrive on download and physicaload on May 5th, via Brew. More.


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