BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Datura4 boasts a hell of a frontline: power pop legend Dom Mariani (DM3, the Stems, the Someloves, etc.) and guitarist Greg Hitchcock (You Am I, New Christs). So it’s no surprise that Demon Blues, the band’s debut, wallows in guitars the way a lobbyist rolls in money.
This ain’t Mariani’s usual pop aesthetic, however, but heavy blues-inflected psych rock. Longtime Mariani fans may be a bit put off by the burly riffs of “Out With the Tide,” “Killjoy” and the title track, not to mention the sneering lyrics of “Pissing Up the Wall” and jamming tendencies of “You Ain’t No Friend of Mine” and “Love to Burn.” For those folks, there’s “Gravedigger Man” and “Another Planet,” which turn down the volume at least part of the time.
But don’t let native prejudice fool you: as with pretty much anything else Mariani explores, he succeeds handily here – his sense of melody never deserts him, regardless of setting. It may not be the DM3, but Datura4 is just as true an expression of Mariani’s musical will as anything he’s ever done.
DOWNLOAD: “You Ain’t No Friend of Mine,” “Demon Blues,” “Another Planet”
Listen to a stream of the album exclusively at BLURT.