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Borracho - Riffology

Format: Download
Released: 2017
Label: Ripple Music
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 7/10

This is the soundtrack of driving around backroads with friends, the smell of oil and engine grease on everyone’s clothes, mingling with the scents of sweat, cheap beer, cigarettes and weed, stopping in at the 7-Eleven and almost getting into it with the kids hanging in the parking lot. In the style of Clutch, Droids Attack, and Local H, Borrachio bring it raw. That word - - “raw” - - can be used as a compliment or a criticism, and in this case, it’s both. I’ll explain.


Their 2017 “Riffography” album starts in with muscle and fire; the first four songs blast with roach-gravel-voiced gusto amid kickass riffs and breaks, all with compact running times under 4 minutes. The Espanol lyrics on "Circulos Concentricos" add a fantastic polish of authenticity. The Clutch vibe is strong, but this is possibly even more subversive.
The problems become apparent after this, with a slew of long, long, prog-length songs, ranging from 4:40 to 11:23. This is a fascinating idea, in theory - - simple, blue-collar, hard-rocking tunes with myriad changes and extended durations. In practice, though, this record goes on for days. The longer songs continue to be comprised of the same robust, meaty ingredients, but they hang around a bit too long and wear out their welcome.
In spite of that, however, I still recommend “Riffology.” I can cite numerous reasons, but the most important is this: the record lives up to its name. Borracho utlize power chords and fuzzy single-notes as well as anybody in the business. Their only sin is indulgence; parse through "Riffology" and pick and choose for yourself between the gold, the steel, and the tin. It's worth your time.


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