A cocktail of Eastern acid rock, hard-riffing garage and drone-pop are served to you on da house with Baba Naga's second 10' EP, Plna Krvy/DeificYen. Considering they're from Sheffield, the dreary Yorkshire town that's birthed Cabaret Voltaire, Arctic Monkeys and The Human League (whose earliest work is as perfect a portrayal of the concrete jungle you'll ever hear), you'd think maybe they'd call themselves something a tad less, uhh, pretentious, and maybe give you song titles in English. But maybe that doesn't matter; after all, this presents you with two choices. The not-so-hard option of putting the music on and not staring longingly at the vowel-less titles onscreen. Or the slightly more challenging narrative the artist sets out for you; you can believe that DeificYen is a "portrayal of a godless soul seeking genuflection from celestial others. A paean call to the limacine masses.” And if you choose the latter, and just for a bit, jump on Baba Naga's magic carpet, then the ensuing rewards can be more mind expanding than George Harrison's first little go on a sitar.
Gargantuan riffs and squalls of feedback compliment the Middle Eastern guitar tones that protrude from time to time; with this kinda psychegeddon, this kinda colossus of a wig out, it's hard to focus on anything other than the bombardment of geetar you're immediately faced with. Going from loud to quiet, tranquil sun-bleached desert bliss to narcotic psych-doom at the snap of a finger; on DeificYen, surges of Tony Iommi riffage almost seem to punish you for getting too attached to the Turkish acid-bath of dreamy psych that opens the record, whilst on Plna Krvy the outro feels like it should be able to summon satan herself from the very depths of hell up to rock out. An advancement from their earlier songs, this single feels so complete, each individual batshit guitar sound sonically leading you a different direction.
Maybe you don't think of Yorkshire as a particularly shamanic hotspot, but Baba Naga are mystics in the modern world of plain guitar pop. I found this band rifling through emails, and it was just the most blissful anecdote to the rest of the "energetic indie pop!" on offer. Baba Naga are everything we all need in our lives right now; cataclysmic guitar noise that soundtracks oh-so-vividly the ensuing ennui and inevitable apocalypse associated with being alive in the year 2016.
Their new EP is out now and up for purchase here.
(Words: Cal Cashin)