With all the curvaceous moves and intrigue fuelled exploits its title suggests, Mata Hari is an encounter which simply and irresistibly entices ears as it infests the psyche. The new album from West Virginian instrumental groove rockers Iron Jawed Guru, it is creative espionage of the most rewarding order offering seven songs bursting with grooves that writhe like seductive snakes and a rhythmic intimidation as imposing as it is dynamically compelling. Without reserve, Mata Hari is a delicious incitement that the more you struggle to resist and move on, the deeper you get entangled up in it.
Iron Jawed Guru is the pairing of multi-instrumentalist Mike Lorenzen and drummer Roy Brewer; a Morgantown hailing project which emerged in 2013, though both members first met nine years earlier. Originally a trio with Eric Clutter, who later went on to join Karma To Burn, Lorenzen and Brewer continued as a duo from his departure evolving their fiery and rapacious psych/stoner rock sound. It is a proposition which singes the senses as it flirts with the body, its heavy yet salaciously inviting weave of grooves and riffs aligning with rousing rhythms to create the fiercely captivating and anthemic blaze that is Mata Hari.
First up on the album is Quake and straight away its impacting rhythms and dusty grooves echo the ferocity and agitation suggested by the name. As a sonic, almost smog like, embrace is cast, Brewer not for the last time swiftly has the senses on edge and energies ignited with his dynamic presence whilst Lorenzen only expands the flame of sultry grooves and intrusive hooks to increase the virulence of the song. An explosive yet controlled incitement, the song is more than matched by the heated aftermath of Aftershock. Toxic and flirtatious, the track is a maelstrom of contrasting and supporting textures again built on the commanding beats of Brewer and shaped by the tenaciously creative fire of Lorenzen. Bands such as Clutch and Kyuss have often been mentioned as a reference for Iron Jawed Guru, and it is easy to see why from this alone.
The deceptively wiry and full-bodied intoxication of the album’s title track is next, it expelling a sinister and tempestuous air around the undisguised salaciousness that ignites every swinging groove and deeply rooting hook. The song is a devious temptress, a predatory romance stealing breath and soul before Gemini and its mercurial saunter lays bold hands on the imagination. With sinews again flexed in every rhythmic swipe and jab as dark volatility lines the sultry climate of sonic suggestiveness, the track has thoughts leaning towards serial killer like imagery rather than astrological based tales such its rich spiral of dark and intensive adventure.
Navajo brings the hues of the dust hugged West next with its smouldering heatwave of melody inflamed enterprise amidst a web of senses scorching grooves whilst Tremors rumbles and grumbles as it descends ravenously on ears with a horde of robustly explosive rhythms matched with equally abrasive riffs. Both tracks in their individual ways are increasingly veined and bound in the ever forceful invention and irresponsible grooves of Lorenzen; they reckless because there is no doubt that hips will never be the same after indulging in the thick devilry of Mata Hari.
Unsurprisingly Vesuvius is a volcanic prowl of sound with lava-esque drama from the guitars and the expected and enterprising bone shuddering swings from Brewer. Its sizzles upon and burns the senses whilst igniting the passions from start to finish; its gripping and increasingly rabid rock ‘n’ roll the perfect exhausting finale to one increasingly thrilling release.
Mata Hari is pure manna for anyone with a groove fetish; for anyone who loves to be flirted with by swinging strains of guitar and rebellious rhythms whilst Iron Jawed Guru is a band surely on the way to recruiting a rampage of hungry appetites and spotlights.
Mata Hari is available now digitally and on CD via Grimoire Records @ https://grimoirerecords.bandcamp.com/album/mata-hari
Pete RingMaster 09/02/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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