“Stella Porta”

By Dr. Abner Mality

“Stella Porta” flies by so fast, it might not even fully register on first listen. With the psychedelic lettering and pictures of funky fungi on the cover, I was expecting a full blown puff of patchouli-scented freakout music with songs 20 minutes long and eons of tripped out acid rock guitar soloing. There’s a touch of that here, but that’s not at all what Bardus is about. They are on the noise-rock label Solar Flare and that should give you more of a hint where they’re coming from.

Songs start out riffy, loud and pretty much to the point. “Smoke Bath” is two minutes and six seconds of thumping guitar and bass driven volume. The early tunes stick to that formula, with hollering vocals and early 90’s sounding guitar noise, “Sky King” being the unruliest. Yeah, there’s a hint of Seattle grunge here, too. Now as the album continues, the songs get a bit longer and things become a bit more experimental. “Haze” is, well, hazy and psychedelic. But even the longest tune “Oracle” does not reach the six minute mark.

I enjoyed “Stella Porta” while listening to it, but this breezes by so quickly, it seems rather inconsequential. So listenable but lightweight is my assessment.