Neanderthal Jam (2022)
Datura4 have conjured up a mesmerising creation that explodes and ignites the sprit forward, towards the never ending quest for the perfect boogie.
This recording gets to the source. The first opus kicks off with an eight second intro that could be mistaken for a nod to Skyhooks and Status Quo before bursting into a relentless, perfected timed and buoyant number.
Pushing off into free fall space “Going Back to Hoonsville” is a mighty statement. A return to youth that fades out but never dies as leading light Dom Mariani (vocals/guitar) and the amalgamation of minds know as Datura4 (Wazza Hall-drums, Stu Loasby-bass, Bob Patient-organ/piano, Jozef Grech-guitar) boogie into the distance.
Drums by Wazza kicks off the blues swagger anthem that “Secret Society” is. Here Bob starts tinkering with your head, bringing his deft touch on keyboards to the fore. Here is also where Jozef slides into the groove.
“Open the Line” is a blues induced riff dance sixties groove that you feel The Stones would have killed for. This is also fades into the distance driven by Wazza and in a live situation this is another one that could go on forever.
“Bad Times” messes with the mind as what could have been an Eddie Van Halen intro kicks into a solid boogie number that uplifts, smiles and has, yes that word again, swagger.
Bursting out “Black Speakers” is a dark, deep blues groove that is menacing. Constricting and heavy this one explodes in to a guitar freezy with Dom/Jozef burning it up.
The only CD running order change from the Splatter Vinyl is where title track “Neanderthal Jam” moves up from vinal closing to CD track six. This a lighter feel to it that paradoxically is spurred on by Stu on the bass. Here he underwrites the contract and lets the music do the talking while Datura4 continue scaling the hairy mountain.
“Hold My Life” bounces the aural view like a Highland jig. Special guest Howie Smallman laces the flavour with a Gaelic flavoured blues harp (if such a thing exists).
Bursting back with a frenzied, breathless number “A Worried Man’s Boogie” is priceless and flexes an upbeat harp.
“Digging My Own Grave” is heavy and urgent, running through black, back alleys of your mind. Twin guitars let loose a la Wishbone Ash/Thin Lizzy in this persuasive, invaluable and essential musical masterpiece.
The first of the CD extra tracks is “Fish Fry”, a stomp along groove that enquires, asking questions and brings Bob into soothe the mind with his exquisite touch. A jagged mountain ridge river where salmon jump.
Closing the CD “Drive-By Island” has, as the name suggest, a sunshine drive groove that expands beyond the boogie and sails into the “boy-to-man” dreams. It picks up and runs on the desert beach driven by a sunny, echoing solo that is dangerous in the extreme.
Datura4’s fifth album is nothing short of a masterpiece that just begins to capture the eloquence and danger of their live performances. Where the boogie just begins to never end ………