Lorelle Meets the Obsolete: Chambers (Sonic Cathedral)

Exhilarating psych/garage from Mexican duo on their first LP available outside North America

Released Mar 3rd, 2014 via Sonic Cathedral / By Richard Lewis
Lorelle Meets the Obsolete: Chambers (Sonic Cathedral) Making a firm imprint on UK minds via their blistering live sets and a standout appearance at the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia last September, Chambers sees Lorelle Meets the Obsolete follow up their scorching stage work with their most focussed and immediate LP date.

Their third LP following two underground releases, the ten track set is the most accessible affair yet from the Mexican outfit. Despite having a name redolent of a female fronted band, LMTO are in fact a duo comprising of Guadalajara-born husband and wife Lorena Quintanilla (Lorelle) and Alberto Gonzalez (The Obsolete). Moving across the border to Baja California last year, the LP finds Cooper Crain of Chicagoan drone rockers Cave sat in the producer’s chair.

The presence of former Spaceman 3 doyen Pete ‘Sonic Boom’ Kember on mastering duties adds to the LPs provenance, highlighting the finer details of the mix while simultaneously cranking the volume up to match the duo’s live power where they appear as a quartet. Expertly sequenced to allow breathing space between the raucous blow-outs and the more meditative cuts, for each all-out guitar blitzkrieg there are gliding arpeggios and vintage synths to provide contrast.

Setting the bar high with a superlative opening double hit, the oscillating Kosmische groove of lead single ‘What’s Holding You?’ and the swirling clangour of ‘The Myth of the Wise’, the two tracks showcase LMTO to exhilarating effect, suffusing vicious garage rock with psychedelic textures. ‘Dead Leaves’ next is a slight misstep, the only track here to break the five minute barrier which aptly enough considering the title is something of a trudge.

Back on course the ascending chord vamp of ‘I Can’t Feel The Outside’ which sees The Obsolete take up vocal duties, brings the The Brian Jonestown Massacre to mind in its primal acoustic guitar thrum and ennui laden air. ‘Music For Dozens’ piloted by a stinging riff so treblely it makes your molars ache and Lorelle’s Grace Slick style vox speeding up midway through into a headlong gallop demonstrates the duo’s knack for twisted pop.

Changing down a gear the Spaceman 3 inspired incantation ‘Grieving’ reaches a state of transcendence via swirling Casiotone keys and fuzzy guitar blizzard, while ‘Sealed Scene’, opening with a coruscating guitar din that resurfaces throughout like an intermittent air-raid siren hurtles along like a super-charged Spaghetti Western theme. ‘Third Wave’ up next switches moods, a hazy stumble backed by what sounds like a malfunctioning air-con unit before the introduction of a hypnotic guitar figure towards the close that shoots the song up a level.

Following largely instrumental last but one make-weight ‘13 Flowers’, the wonderful ‘Thoughts About Night Noon’ sees the LP head towards the run out groove on a suitably crepuscular note. The most direct tune here, with a hint of classic Neil Young vocal whine in The Obsolete’s lead vocal, the track serves as an intriguing sign off, possibly providing a tantilising hint at where Lorena and Alberto may be headed next.