Billy Tsounis (Nefelibata)
Crank this to 7.5 of 11
Genre: Progressive Rock, Experimental
Sounds Like: Joe Satriani, Ozric Tentacles, Laundry
For those of you who like your progressive rock a bit out there and distinctive, take a gander at Southern California guitarist Billy Tsounis’s latest release Nefelibata. This album is a culmination of odd and unique song structures; it often borders Zappa-like offbeat rhythms, Ozric Tentacle weirdness and elements of Joe Satriani power solos. It’s definitely a unique blend of styles going on here. This album cannot be previewed in one sitting, it needs time to develop and grow on you over time.
Track one "Let the Coconut Shine" is a hallucinogenic soft trip that sets the tone. The psychedelic guitars will melt and seed inside your mind. The drums follow the guitars lead well adding a foundation for the song. Does anyone remember the band Laundry, well track two; "Cowboy Land Plane Eats Cow" eerily resembles the mood of their 1994 album Blacktounge. It’s eerie and gives off a neurotic, deranged vibe, it’s actually on of the best cuts off the album. Nefelibata starts to take an even odder turn with tracks like "Eyeballs in the Yard," "Everything Happens for a Reason Scam" and "The Pastors Groupies Theme". These three tracks are experimental with tons of feedback with off-key piano and synth elements.
With titles like "The Clown Salivates" and "Duckface Baboon Ass Castration" it’s hard not to be intrigued. These two songs are very original. "The Clown Salivates" offers up some tight rhythmic drumming along with spaced-out Satriani styled solos. "Duckface Baboon…" is a bit out in left field, but for some reason it holds together well. The guitar work is pretty impressive here and the underlying sprinkles of piano just bring this one to another level. Track six, "Squirt Boy Dance Girl" has an improve jazz quality about it; it’s a free spirited jam. "Jealous Burrito Bonghit" is one of the trippiest songs on the album; the guitar strumming laced over the psychedelic feedback is a distinctive technique we often do not hear much of. "Nap Time," "Evil Relatives Stole My Sacred Cow" and "Robot Acne" continue down this psychedelic/progressive path that we have become accustomed to, we wouldn’t want it any other way. The album ends on "Skelem Spliff" which is a mellow, toned down guitars driven instrumental, a fitting end to the album.
Guitar-centric instrumental albums are often known for their repetitiveness and conservatism. Billy Tsounis has impressed us by going outside the box and developing a style that is bold, experimental, and on the edge. This is an album that will appeal to many who frequent the progressive side of rock and want something that goes a bit against the grain.
Standout Tracks:Let the Coconut Shine, Cowboy Land Plane Eats Cow