By Dr. Abner Mality

"Avenger", indeed! I always rooted for the bull, myself...

Totimoshi have been plying their trade for a good many years now, driving around these United States to every conceivable hole in the wall with just one desire: to play their unique brand of rock' n' roll. What exactly to call their music..."desert rock", "hard alternative", "acid metal", etc., not something I'm gonna spend a lot of time on, but on "Avenger", it is stripped down, primal and 100% guitar-based.

It's the wild guitar technique of Antonio Aguilar that puts Totimoshi on the map. The framework of these songs are basic and easily digestible riffs and rhythms, but when Aguilar cuts loose and adds his feverish touch, they jump to life and burst forth with vibrant color. A lot of times I was lulled by a tune, only to have a crazed guitar solo smack me upside the head but good. "Snag" is the best example...a nice alternative rocker, but then the solo just melts your face with a wild, unpredictable blast. Same thing could be said of "Waning Divine", "Mainline" and "Rose"...solid tracks made into something more by amazing guitar work. And then maybe you go back and you notice how the bass and drum work of Meg Castellano and Chris Fugitt keep up with Aguilar and add touches of their own.

It's pretty inspiring what you can do with just basic drums, guitar and bass, topped off with vocals. Totimoshi here comes up with real corkers like the title track and the excellent "The Fool" (with psychedelic-tinged guitar this time around) to demonstrate there's no end to energy and creativity with just the building blocks.

Don't know if I would call it heavy metal, but it is worth checking out...