CB3 – “Exploration”
By Dark Starr
I am a big fan of progressive rock, space rock and metal. Those three styles of music all play a role in the sonic tapestry produced by this group. So, as you might guess, I really enjoy this new record. There is plenty of shoegaze, fuzz and psychedelia here, too. The name of the group is a shortened version of CHARLOTTAS BURNING TRIO. They are a Swedish outfit made up of Charlotta Andersson (who writes the music, plays electric guitar and provides vocals), . Pelle Lindsjö (electric bass) and Natanael Solmonsson (drums).
Not only is the music here artistic and captivating, but the record itself is gorgeous. The record is a piece of art, with a pattern of black and pink that looks great spinning on a turntable. Of course, the sound that spinning process produces is an even bigger appeal.
The first side of the record opens with "Daydreams and the track pounds in heavy and driving. It's got a real space rock feel to it. The vocals come across in an almost dreamy way, adding to that space reference. There is some scorching hot prog meets hard rock guitar soloing further down the musical road. It drops back to a mellower movement later. There is definitely a dream-pop kind of vibe to it when it does. It turns toward psychedelia as the vocals drop away. It continues to evolve from there in a more proggy way. They take it through all kinds of cool explorations as they continue. The song is artsy, spacey, psychedelic and yet heavy. It's also powerfully compelling.
I love the pop rock meets space and psychedelia vibe as "To Space and Away" gets going. It's not a huge change from the previous piece, yet it definitely has its own identity. The number works through some heavier space rock oriented stuff and turns toward stoner metal from there. Mellower space takes over for a while. The vocals come over the top of that and lead to a return to the song proper.
"Going to the Horizon" opens with a pounding sound that is decidedly metallic. The number shifts quickly to something more akin to a merging of dream pop and space rock sounds. It works through a fairly organic space rock instrumental section. Then a fast paced and driving movement that has some definite hints of HAWKWIND takes over from there.
"In a Rainbow with My Friends" gets the second side of the record underway. The heavy metallic chording that starts it might make you think you just put on a CANDLEMASS album, but the shoegaze styled sounds that emerge will smash that misconception. It works through some changes before dropping back to an ambient soundscape to continue. It gradually builds up with spacey prog textures. It eventually works out to a heavier sort of space rock jam, but that change is so organic that you don't really notice the increments involved. It turns quite heavy at the end.
Heavy space rock is on the menu as "Through Space and Time" comes out of the gate. The vocals come over the top tempering it a bit. There is some screaming hot guitar soloing on the powerhouse space rock jam later. Ignore the bass at your peril, though, because it's really on fire, too. It drops down for a time to a more clean guitar based section, but then fires back out into shoegaze meets space rock zones. The mellower stuff returns, and it really reminds me of early HAWKWIND. Vocals come over the top with an intriguing meter to them. There is a more traditional prog angle to that part of the cut. All in all, a must have for fans of heavier space rock.