It has been five years since their last studio record, 9 Dead Alive, but the instrumental guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela are still strumming out upbeat excursions before freeing themselves from earthly bonds by covering one of Pink Floyd’s most experimental numbers.
Mettavolution finds the duo locked back in and where their last record was dedicated to their influences, this time it is all about the visceral primal passion of playing and what originally connected them to music. The title track opener kicks a rock beat behind the guitar strums as the producer David Sardy loads up the bass, shaker and voice synths to propel the sound forward. The energy stays upbeat for the “Terracentric” which digs in with gritty R&B groove, rumbling with metallic leanings and warbling effects.
The more acoustic-focused “Electric Soul” is laid back and restrained compared to the rest of the originals here adding a nice counterweight to the frantic strumming of a track like “Krotona Days” which showcases a modern-day pop song, only played supersonically fast. “Witness Tree” winningly covers a ton of musical ground in its brief run time and “Cumbe” just may be the best of the bunch with a great groove, funk like guitar effects, killer picking and overall good time vibe.
Each original sounds fresh, but these are places Rodrigo y Gabriela have mostly been before, where they haven’t been is to outer space on a 1971 English journey from prog/psych rockers Pink Floyd’s ticket. The group covers “Echoes” and cuts down five minutes, distilling it through a metal heads prism, with a few flamenco runs, metallic feedback flares inserted and ominous overtones.
How much you want to hear the duo’s take on the Floyd song may sway your overall feeling on the record, but even for non-Floyd fans, the originals captured on Mettavolution are reason enough to check in on this always unique duo.