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Spirit Caravan | Elusive Truth | review | stoner | rock | Lollipop
Elusive Truth (Tolotta)
by Brian Varney
Heaviness is such a relative thing these days. There was a time when I would've thought Spirit Caravan were incredibly heavy, but now all I can hear is the space in their sound. And frankly, that's a good thing. With the onslaught of the stoner underground's extreme doom contingent, there are bands heavy enough to turn your blood into molasses. And it's all done in the name of Black Sabbath.
What most of today's heavy bands miss is the beating heart central to the Sabbath sound. Yes, Black Sabbath were heavy, but they were not hateful. They were angry, no question, but they were only angry because they knew a better world could exist. Spirit Caravan understand this. There's anger on Elusive Truth, no doubt, but it's anger with hope behind it, a hope only hinted at but present nevertheless. It's heavy music, yes, but it's heavy music with a heart. And I don't know about you, but that sort of thing makes for much more pleasant listening in the Varney household. It is, then, music with a purpose, and so it moves forward. The tasty guitar riffs remind you that Wino once did time in St. Vitus, but the rhythm section pushes them along in a way you'd never hear in that band. Like I said, there's space in this music, but it's not empty space. It is, instead, space where the truths and insights hinted at by the music are given room to reverberate, to fester and grow in size and strength.
Slower and more pensive than their previous full-length (Jug Fulla Sun, also on Tolotta) and EP (Dreamwheel, on MeteorCity), Elusive Truth is Spirit Caravan's finest work to date, more thoughtful and philosophical than previous releases but no less rocking. It's like a long, unflinching look in the mirror, but with a good, loud rock album playing while you stand there.
(PO Box 4412 Arlington, VA 22204)