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Spiritual Mafia: Al Fresco 12"

Spiritual Mafia: Al Fresco 12"


Tags: · 20s · australia · garage · hcpmf · noise rock
Regular price
$25.00
Sale price
$25.00

Alfresco is the debut album from Spiritual Mafia. The band played a handful of shows a few years ago, but found it near impossible to continue due to members spread across the far reaches of Australia. Try organising practice when some live in Victoria, another in Queensland, and another in the Northern Territory. Somehow Spiritual Mafia managed to record an album, and look forward to re- establishing their existence in a much-craved post-lockdown world.
Validating the band’s semi-ridiculous name, there is something ‘spiritual’ about this album. Alfresco breaks things down to their basic elements. Lyrics focus on themes of water, food, and the human body. Primitive, yet timeless stuff. The themes are complimented by music as equally unpretentious. The riffs neglect any grandiose changes and keep hammering down upon the listener like a violent
Mafioso collecting the interest and the principle. It’s a different kind of spirituality that one wouldn’t find in the background of a yoga class. But it does have a Zen aspect. Think Stooges or Brainbombs for no-brainer
comparisons. But on top of the standard rock band instrumentation, add some cosmic synths, and healthy amounts of turntablism littered throughout the jams.
Alfresco tries to remind the listener that if we forget our troubles for a moment and go for a swim (20 minutes after eating), then the world would be a happier place. Out from March 12th in very limited quantities on Anti Fade Records in Australia and Ever/Never Records in the USA.


Our take: As I was sitting here, listening to Al Fresco and pondering how I would start writing about it, I found myself lost in thought about whether I should describe them as “menacingly weird” or “weirdly menacing.” That says it all; not only is Al Fresco weird and menacing, but also it gives you time and space to ponder things that seem simple at first glance but, when you think about them a little longer, don’t seem so straightforward. Spiritual Mafia lives in a similar headspace to newer bands like Knowso or the Mind or older groups like Pere Ubu (if the members of Spiritual Mafia aren’t already card-carrying members of the “Australians who love Cleveland” club, they should be). I also hear a lot of the Fall at their most apocalyptic. Like I said, menacingly weird (or weirdly menacing). Spiritual Mafia also resembles a lineage of Australian bands in their stretched-out quality, possessing the same propensity to ride a groove that convinces me Eddy Current Suppression Ring spent plenty of time listening to the first two Stooges albums. And then there are the lyrics, which take mundane yet cryptic phrases and repeat them until they sound like mantras. If I quote them here, they’ll seem sillier than they are, or at least sillier than they seem by the end of each of these long songs. I’m a sucker for this sort of modern art punk, and Spiritual Mafia’s heavy, hypnotic grooves and surreal qualities are bound to win over anyone with similar tastes.