We reckon the flourishing Athens alternative music scene is something you need to keep an eye on this year as the more established acts have been gathering considerable momentum since the tail end of last year. Two acts of whom we’ve noticed in particular are Acid Baby Jesus and Bazooka (both psych-punk outfits) who have been producing a constant flow of material, alongside delivering consistently excellent shows across Europe leading to significant (well deserved) recognition.
Bazooka were formed in 2008, in Volos, (native to Centaurs) and consist of singer/guitarist Xanthos Papanikolaou, guitarist Bill Tzelepis, drummer John Vulgaris, Keyboardist Panos Papanikolaou and bassist, Aris Rammos. Within the same year they moved to Athens, the Greek capital underwent a severe economic crisis. Fortuitously, a multitude of DIY squat venues had given birth to an underground musical renaissance paving way to the city’s best punk and psych-rock bands, Acid Baby Jesus and Bazooka.
In follow up to their second LP: Useless Generation Bazooka have returned with a 4-track EP, Zougla (Jungle). And it’s exactly what you need for January – a truly fast, psychedelic and very raw record to lift those overcast skies and inject energy into your veins. Chaotic and passionate punk rhythms suffuse with acidic rifts, tipping on the tribal, accompanied by a fiery edged delivery of Greek verse which is, all in all, manically satisfying.
The opening title track (‘Zougla’) begins with a distant animal noise as distinctive as Plant’s wailing cry on Immigrant Song, and when the exceptional progressive guitar riffs kick in, it is suffice to consider this a psych-garage cousin to Led Zeppelin’s classic. Just as the second track (‘Exailosou’) outlines a filmic terrain; atypical desert acoustic guitar with distancing whistling and brass, we are soon led to the dizzily heady pang of the third track (‘I Diki Sou I Sira’) which connects subtle parallels to equal legends, Acid Baby Jesus’ single, ‘You Had It Coming’ (off their 2014 self-titled LP)!
The record is seen out by ‘Thelo Fisi’ a pending drum solo and returning bird noises that meet their mother tongue, culminating in a turbulence of distorted spaced out guitar – let Bazooka tap into your mind here, it’s a voyage through time and space!
Words: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)