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Spain’s Positiva first came to my attention a couple of years ago with their debut album Centaur’s Ride. That album was a collection of heavy rock n roll that owed a debt in equal parts to 70s rock, the whole desert rock scene and the grunge of Screaming Trees and Mudhoney. It was an album that was good without really being essential or even particularly memorable with the exception of a couple of songs.
Well, Positiva released the follow up to their debut titled Prodigal Songs late last year and I have to say right at the start that this is a few notches above the debut in terms of songwriting. The band has dropped almost all of the Kyuss/ Screaming Trees references to focus on an album’s worth of memorable riff rock that is total 70s worship.
Right from the Grand Funk-isms of opener Brother Eagle and Undying Shore you know you’re in for a good time and that feeling is only strengthened by the time Waiting in Vain shows up with its part Sabbath, part Blue Cheer heaviness. The band focus on stoner friendly riffs that is perfect when you’re driving while also laying down some mighty impressive solo spots. Also, the twin guitar attack of Miguel and Julio gives the band a heavy, full sound. Elsewhere on the album, the band gives in to some heavy blues rock which is further bolstered by the rhythm section which adds a much needed weight behind these songs. Catch the Fire and Gropiedom sounds like they owe a little bit to Molly Hatchet and southern rock while the semi acoustic Black Mountain Rock is some more Southern Rock but with an edge to it that’s almost punk in nature. This is easily the best song on the album but Positiva have one more surprise stored away with The Complete Mercy of the Lord and its reverb drenched vocals and is bavguely reminiscent of Hawkwind.
While Positiva derive most of their sound from bands that came before them in the 70s they also manage to add enough originality into the proceedings and the songwriting is consistently of a high quality. The band write great riffs and more importantly, write great songs around these riffs. Prodigal Songs is the sound of a band that has found its sound. I get the feeling that greater things might be in store for them and the band is just getting started but for now, Prodigal Songs is pretty essential for stoner rock fans.
Label: Odio Sonoro
Year of Release: 2009
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