On the Iberian Peninsula, people know and love Wet Cactus as an independent and idiosyncratic stoner band that combines twisted psych elements with solid rock. The band from the Spanish north coast, founded ten years ago, had already released two albums before the involuntary global break followed. “Magma Three” was recorded live in February 2022, but is only now being released with a considerable delay and yet seems feverish and timeless at the same time.
Held together and framed by a four-part series of semi-conceptual interludes, these 46 minutes really get started with “Barren Landscape”, although the great explosiveness is only hinted at at first. Mid-tempo heaviness, thick riffs and longing vocals drive the desert into powerful rock realms, punctuated by smaller instrumental breaks. This is the calm before the storm, which is broken by tracks like “Million Tears”. Here the Spaniards take time for a psychedelic search for meaning, interrupted by detached, massive stoner jams. Samavayo and Yawning Man send their regards as the song sheds its skin repeatedly.
“Solar Prominence”, on the other hand, starts almost feverishly and only drifts off late, but does so skillfully. Roasting heaviness and a real storm of riffs gradually make way for an extended, soulful jam that sets off on a quest. However, it remains unclear whether anything will be found. The majestic “My Gaze Is Fixed Ahead” with its virtuoso guitar work is certainly one of the highlights of this record. A breathless, driving, at times almost metallic song escalates again and again, even though the leitmotif behind it comes in a surprisingly bluesy tone. This contradiction in particular is incredibly fun and sums up what is special about this band.
Springy light and yet oppressively heavy, this constant contradiction is part of Wet Cactus’ work. On “Magma Tres” the Spanish quartet plays really freely and audibly has fun wildly experimenting with riffs, with psychedelic rides, with sometimes seemingly brutal force. The third album skillfully takes common stoner sounds further without completely breaking away from earthly genre spheres. Constant contradiction and palpable tension accompany an exciting record that perhaps only really becomes clear on the second or third listen, but at the same time royally rewards any attention with musical fireworks.
Available from: November 24th, 2023
Available via: Electric Valley Records
Category: Magazin, Reviews