Humo Del Cairo
posted on 7/2010 By:
This baby's been sitting on my Metal Review burner for far too long. Not actually a result of a loss for words on my part, mind you, but because I knew it was something that would best be digested in the midst of the US Summer months. For Humo del Cairo's sound, in a nutshell, would most accurately be described as "summery" -- summery stoner metal that lifts the smell of burning Kingsford coals on the wind the very moment these unwinding grooves waft from the speakers. Hence, it will probably come as little surprise to many of you that these young Argentinians have secured a cozy spot on New Mexico's hazily-far-out Meteor City roster. They're quite the comfortable fit alongside acts such as Los Natas, Hermano, Solace and the like. But where those bands would likely fill the role of getting the party started, Humo del Cairo seem more suited for maintaining that late afternoon summertime buzz by stewing folks off their undeniable stoner vibe. It's as if someone locked these three in a room for a year with an industrial-sized hookah, a stack of Kyuss records and Robin Trower's Bridge of Sighs.
The album comes from the gate strong with the 11-minute opener "A Tiempo," which closely maps the Kyuss blueprint of establishing a nice groove rooted to a heavy emphasis on ample amounts of fuzz. But that initial groove quickly heads sprinting for the beach the moment the song hits the 3:30 mark as we're treated to a delightfully breezy, repeating guitar lick that lulls the listener into a very pleasant, mellow mood before striking back to the heavier jam approximately 3-minutes later. It's followed by the record's first trip into Bridge of Sighs territory with "Nimbo," a sweet little floater that's sure to delight all the red-eyed heshers in the house with Juan Manuel Diaz's distinctly Trower-esque shimmery guitar style. The same fret-play makes a pleasurable appearance in the latter half of the otherwise heavily grooved 10-minute "Panorama" as well, buttressed alongside sporadic use of bonfire bongos that even further slips the mood into hazy repose. The peak of tranquility, however, where I believe Humo del Cairo flashes their greatest talent, occurs when the sun sets on the beautifully tranquil "Errantes" -- a mostly acoustic strummer that's equal parts "lonesome Spaghetti Western" as it is "blithe siesta" because of its extensive use of high-plains-guitar fade-ins & -outs offset by plenty of carefree harmonica bounce.
There are a few flaws and imperfections, however. At times the band carries the trip a bit long, so clear-headed individuals could get antsy due to the extensive psychedelic hammer over the head. The 5-minute "Fuego de San Antonio" and closer "Cauce" also lack the mellow flourishes that are the band's strongest distinction (and best asset), and we're duped into thinking the last cut hauls an impressive 30-minutes when the tune actually ends abruptly at the 7-minute mark and falls completely silent for the next 22-minutes before closing with a minute's worth of blowing wind and light guitar/bass/drum play -- that's a no-no, fellows.
Overall, a very positive first step coming out of the burgeoning Argentinean stoner-rock/metal scene. I'm sure future releases will find the band further developing their own distinct sound that I hope further emphasizes those beautifully gliding, breezy, summery plumes that really sells this self-titled debut. If you like the idea of complementing your grilling & chilling moments with a band I could easily picture touring in some sort of mystery van hallucinating glowing Bog Beasts and Moon Monsters and filling what's left of their free time with seriously hazy jams and curbing munchies with hoagies stacked a foot high, I'd recommend you give Humo del Cairo some attention.
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