Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Album review: RICH HOPKINS & LUMINARIOS - Buried Treasures

Highlights: A Stone’s Throw, Friend Of The Shooter, Buried Treasures (It’s Not Out There), Sweet Dreams, Lisa

This is a brilliant album, vast and expansive, steeped in the Arizonian sound they tend to call ‘desert rock’. Huge sound, full of rough, Crazy Horse-styled guitar workouts and undeniable melodic substance. Interestingly, Hopkins’ voice occasionally reminds me of Tom Petty. Only the sort of gruff Tom Petty who was born in the dusty desert and has no time for those sophisticated vocal mannerisms.

Buried Treasuries sticks to its sound right from the start and never lets go, and since it is such a winning sound, gutsy and lush, – why not. For some random reason I’m not too interested in the flashy opener, “Dark Side Of The Spoon”, which sounds like a somewhat pedestrian take on a psychedelic rocker from the 60’s. Also, “Good Morning” is basically a five minute (well, almost) noise freakout – and I treat people who admire things like that with a great deal of genuine suspicion.

But the rest of the songs are uniformly stellar. Stuff like the title track or “Betcha Gotcha Now!” are catchy as hell, and you won’t hear a better epic than the guilt-by-association classic called “Friend Of The Shooter” in the whole of 2012. Hair-raising and awe-inspiring, quite reminiscent of Neil Young’s “Like A Hurricane”.

Buried Treasures is a rock solid, no-nonsense monolith of an album, and it covers you like an enormous sheet of thick desert sand. There’s also a bonus CD, but it’s mostly made up of 30-second throwaways and pointless 15-minute jams. Stick to the main thing.


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