12" £10.99 MEX1871
6 track 12" EP on Mexican Summer.
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Now two albums deep, Lilacs & Champagne have outlasted the "Grails side project" tag and are now "the guys from Grails' other band" in their own right, and this EP we have this year seems to indicate new levels of ambition by the duo, who expand their ranks to a quartet for the first time with bassman Zac Reno and keysman Ash Black Bufflo.
There are still some small swathes of the loopy, sampledelic Madlib-inspired hip hop passages, but on this one the focus shifts towards live instrumental passages with a bit of a '70s cop show/film noir thing going on, seemingly inspired by the likes of Lalo Schifrin and John Barry, with a little dash of Goblin and some of their own hallucinogenic secret ingredients.
It's a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Closer 'Cinemaxxx' in particular goes for all-out Italo-horror thrills with soaring guitars, vigorously hammered keys and a tight, funky rhythm section. The panicked rock out at the end sounds straight out of the songbook of Frizzi or Sorgini or the aforementioned Goblin. Apparently this is the start of a "fantasy series" where they delve into a different genre on each EP, it'll be interesting to hear where they go next.
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