Columbus, Ohio based Brujas del Sol are the quartet of Adrian Zambrano on guitar and vocals, Derrick White on bass, Jason Green on drums, and Ryan Stivers on keyboards. According to the Devouter Records web site, the band formed in 2011 as a guitar/bass/drums trio and recorded three volumes of Moonliner EPs which they made available on Bandcamp (they’re still there), but re-recorded them for this LP with the addition of Stivers’ keyboards.
Side 1 opens with Ships In The Distance, which consists of expansive, exploratory space rock, with guitar melodies that are simple but wrap themselves lovingly around your throat as you’re strapped into your assigned seat on the spacecraft. Somewhere after the halfway mark of this 10 minute track the rhythm section transitions to a motorik beat and there are some brief vocals before the guitar takes off again for more cosmically melodic rocking in space. There’s lots of alien effects to embellish the proceedings and things get pretty intense as it comes in for a landing. Satanic Surf Girls Love To Dance is next and features jamming, head-banging, acid-drenched space rock that also has a motorik-metal feel, if you can imagine that. Conquistadors opens with a brief droning sitar-like wave, and then the band launch into a vocal song, though vocals are secondary on this album, as they soon focus their attention on instrumental development… and a heavily stoned one this is! Side 2 opens with the 11+ minute Noon On The Moon. After an introductory soundscape bit the band embark on another acidic, high intensity, deep space rocker, that also includes monster blasts of heavy Prog, as the guitar and keyboards team up for the assault. Baba Yaga is a steady rocker with a space-surf edge. And the LP closes with Castles Upon Golden Gate, probably the most meditative track of the set, though that’s also combined with a moodiness and feeling of tension, all of which I found to be an interesting blend.
In summary, Brujas del Sol excel at creating music that has a freeform jam quality, yet always seems focused and goal oriented. You can enjoy the ride, knowing that there’s an ultimate destination. Fans of The Spacious Mind would love these guys. Note that Moonliner is a vinyl LP release, on cool looking white and purple tie-dyed wax, and a download code.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz