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What I Saw That Night Will Not Be Explained - 69%

CHAIRTHROWER, February 13th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2018, Digital, Independent

Religion is a prickly business; particularly so, whence Syracusan stoner metal jesper Cactus Cathedral wedges its festive, funky self within the (af)fray. Authors of two EPs and singles verily countable on one's digits (usually, the left, or "stranger" hand), the Empire State heady (vapo)riser is one of those ready-made, prepackaged, mail-order, just-add-water-and-stir style (i.e. accessibly listenable right off the [es]bat) purveyors which, without exception or fail, cave in with par-for-the-porsche, well-timed reprisals of desert rock/heavy psych genre relic, Kyuss's Green Machine, from 1993.

(This was the year I discovered Black Sabbath, good and proper, following an amical bout of Super NES Rock N' Roll Racing - the paltry soundtrack of which highlighted "Paranoid" - at a buddy's...up until his rigidly scheduled, tri-weekly accordion lesson. Alas, he never ceased trying to persuade ironclad commander mum of dire swap for electric (s)ax, which invariably spurred threats of swap for refurbished bagpipes in their stead, should he keep it up).

Where were we? Ah, yes, Cactus Cathedral's first EP, from 2018, which comes after three singles (harking back to 2017), entails three tracks: two originals - "The Encounter", a rangily buzzing and raw, three-minute-some travelogue/reminiscence which evokes cross cross between Belgium's Fire Down Below and The Beastie Boys, as well as "Passion is a Witch", the slightly longer, also raspily expunged - yet hooking and snareful - centerpiece of this 1/6 hour genre template, alongside erstwhile Kyuss cover.

Suffice it to say, to varying degree, both CC samplers leak Black Nasa-like (tantric) slide guitar - notably, during "The Encounter"'s brief, twangy coda - which imbues a mid-90s sort of debonair, sophomoric class, as well as growth (spurt), in the vein of Qalyphornya's Nebula, with its 2019 reboot following decade of mum abeyance, or Holland's eclectically winsome 7Zuma7 (ditto on the sabbatical, yet sans welcome return to scene/happy ending).

So far done, good! As I've yet to hear crappy "Green Machine" take, despite the original passing (host) as a gustatory stand-in, or metaphor, for American high school cafeteria sloppy Joe's...a relief, mind, as glutinously wobblesome, Bill Cosby tut-tutting Jell-O wouldn't "shake" it. Either way, both mealy-mouthed reception and mild, milk toast rating derive solely from The Factory Tapes' relative paucity i.e. all-too-brief, flash-in-the-hand length (ribald pun optional) - plus, the fact it's only available digitally; hence, docked points for erroneous, wooly publicity...(duly).

Heedless, I've a feeling Cactus Cathedral's twin (size) EPs, as well as mercurial quaternity of peccadilloes, are but the tip of the (n)iceberg. For fans of Somali Yacht Club, and almost all else pushed by the (drag)net's most erudite Nebraskan, "Stoned Meadow of B(l)oom".