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Tia Carrera (2006)

Austin, Texas denizens Tia Carrera consist of drummer Erik Conn, guitarist Jason Morales, and bassist Andrew Duplantis. Their third offering, which is untitled but marked ACG 012 (for Australian Cattle God 012), is music that takes the listener on a major drug trip. The opiate daze in the guitar lines, the sedative drift of the drum rolls, and the tranquilizing haze of the bass wells all ring with stoner rock keys and a flying kite-like carpet ride. The band has been compared to Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath but they have a Southern rock intonation in their chord ruminations more aligned with the Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead, and Widespread Panic.

There are seven songs on Tia Carrera's third album, but I couldn't tell them apart. The songs all drift into each other and whatever incremental differences there are between the tracks, it is only vaguely perceptible. There is a surreal quality in the songs, like they are a shadow of the tale they are telling. All the songs are instrumental pieces and they each keep the same composed tempo. The songs are tightly seamed in that the instrument parts all fit into each other and move in unison.

There is a '70s tint in their spin wheel psychedelics reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane and Cream, but overall the tones reflect a more modern rock spatiality, so you don't feel like you are listening to something that is quite as dated.

Tia Carrera is a hometown favorite in Austin, Texas. Their on-stage skills are touted for their improvised guitar leads and sweaty headbanging drum rotations. Maybe their album is a shadow of their on-stage presence because the album lacks such impetus. The songs are filled with sensations reflective of narcotic aptitudes and drug-induced penmanship so they feel languid. Such stoner psychedelics were desirable in the '70s, and Tia Carrera has certainly shown a liking for such Southern rock and stoner music and flexes them into a sedate momentum. -Susan Frances

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