Album review - Lobo: masters of dark psychedelia

tis  Lobo performing at the Dragongate Festival.  090905M7c.
tis Lobo performing at the Dragongate Festival. 090905M7c.

By Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers

Lobo: A Stage 3 Game (album)

From Elvis’s Heartbreak Hotel to Nirvana’s In Utero, there’s been a streak of ugliness running right through rock music.

So when I say Harrogate band Lobo are an ugly rock band, that isn’t meant as an insult.

From opening track Music to Sooth to closer The Beach, lead singer/bassist Alex Valvis (Lex for short) and his main musical collaborators Levi Colgan (guitar) and David Colstan (drums) sound like a serious band with serious points to make on debut album A Stage 3 Game.

Lobo may not be pretty a lot of the time but they’re real masters of dark, grunge psychedelia,

The easiest, laziest comparison to make is Screaming Trees.

The same fuzzed up riffs, rumbling bass, squealing lead guitar lines and bitter, growling vocals.

But there’s more to Lobo’s stormy sea of sound than Screaming Trees influences.

Hints of garage rock, goth and Black Sabbath’s sludge rock also emerge here and there.

What makes Lobo worth listening to is that Lex sounds like he always has something to say. Perhaps that’s why Lobo even manage to pull of a couple of nicely shambling, semi-acoustic, singer-songwriterly tracks towards the end, including the excellent Twisting which features a superb central riff.