Dinsmore, Bjork, Hernandez sound like a mildly exotic firm of solicitors but are in fact the members of Ché, a mini desert rock supergroup, who recorded the mini LP Sounds of Liberation and went their separate ways again. Now I will confess to not being very objective here, as I might have mentioned before there is something about that desert sound that just resonates deep within me – I can’t get enough of it and I also worship Brant Bjork, the man can do very little wrong in my eyes. Anyone who has drummed for Kyuss and Fu Manchu and then put out records of the quality he has, deserves only good things in life. I also love Dave Dinsmore’s previous band Unida, but have not been able to find a copy of Coping With The Urban Coyote on vinyl yet.
But anyway, if you know your desert rock, you’ll know what to expect from this LP, great lazy-sounding tightly-played riffs, drawled speaky vocals full of references to freedom, liberation and ‘it ain’t no big thing’, backed up with a great rhythm section. I know its a cliche that I’ve used before but this is music designed to be played in a camper van at night, preferably in a desert – or in my case in a Citroen C1 on the way to the station on a frosty morning; yup, I’m living the stoner rock dream. The tracks shift by with minor changes of rhythm and melody to distinguish one from another but when the template is this good, ‘it ain’t no big thing’.
Really unusually the second side of this LP is so much better than the first, I know this defies all natural laws but it is simply true. The best track on the LP is the first on the second side, the title track, ‘Sounds of Liberation’. The production which is good throughout, is absolutely spot-on here all the instruments having a great natural sound, full of bass and resonance; I defy anyone not to nod along with their eyes closed*. ‘Adelante’ the next track is faster, more urgent – it means progress / forwards and is the name of a Cuban paper too and the last track ‘Blue Demon’ dials it all back a notch again to great effect.
Comparatively the first side just doesn’t do it so well, although superficially it sounds pretty similar, apart from the instrumental ‘The day The Pirate Died’, which just isn’t very good. There’s nothing wrong with the tracks here, they just don’t have the shifts of emphasis, dynamics and melody that sets the tracks on the second side up. I guess when you are working with a sound which has pretty narrow confines that sort of result is always a hazard, maybe (and how’s this for wild speculation) that’s why Ché had such a short lifespan before the participants rode off in different directions singing ‘it ain’t no big thing’.
It pains me to say that after doing a bit of digging about I have to concede that the CD version of this LP is actually better sequenced, putting the pirate song at the end and monkeying about with the order of the tracks in the middle. Curse you silver devil discs!
* If driving, 1537 recommends keeping them open – I don’t have time to go into all the technicalities now but trust me, its better that way.