Miss Lava are:
Johnny Lee: vocals
J. Garcia: drums
K. Raffah: guitars
S. Rebelo: bass
Recorded at Panavideo Studios, TheKidsRoom, and Djungle Producoes Studios - Lisbon, Portugal.
Drums recorded at Panavideo Studios by Samuel Rebelo.
Guitars and Bass recorded at TheKidsRoom by Samuel Rebelo.
Vocals recorded by Samuel Rebelo at Panavideo Studios and by Ricardo Espinha at Djungle Producoes Studios.
Mixed by Eric Hoegemeyer at Tree Laboratory - Brooklyn, NY.
Mastered by Chris Goosman at Baseline Audio Labs - Ann Arbor, MI.
Produced by Samuel Rebelo and Miss Lava.
Design and Art Direction by José Mendes.
Photography by Luís Mileu.
Published by Small Stone Records (ASCAP).
Miss Lava is a Portugese stoner rock outfit. On paper, this appears an exotic combination, but the end result is actually quite universal. This Portugese outfit is firmly in the business of delivering solid-as-it-comes rock'n'roll.
While Red Supergiant ends on its mellowest note, most of the material up until that point is quite heavy. Miss Lava employ a fuzzy, overwhelming, bass-heavy, yet nevertheless clean sound; they don't delve too deep into the underworld of sludge and psychedelia, sticking instead to a more groove-laden road with anthemic pitstops. The vocals, too, are reasonably wholesome, and if I didn't know Miss Lava were from Portugal, I certainly couldn't have guessed it from listening to this guy sing his lines in perfect English. Some of the vocal lines and delivery make me think of Turbonegro, though there's a chance I might be the only person alive who would ever draw that parallel.
If you're looking for a safe journey to the stars, Miss Lava's Red Supergiant ought to serve you very well. Tons of fun, powerful tunes here.
From the outset, this band is definitely out to rock you brain and mind with fully fledged Stoner grooves. ‘Desert Mind’ kicks off with a classic stoner riff that gets your feet stompin’ in no time. The vocals are killer throughout. There’s a clever rhythm change in the bridge that lets the listener know that these guys aren’t just trying to rehash the tried and tested formula, but shake it to its core. ‘Lay Down’ follows this with a similar vibe until the bluesy middle section, before pummelling once more with those big riffs. ‘Feel My Grace’ starts with a very cool groovy riff that sounds like it would be an immediate crowd pleaser in a live setting. Johnny Lee’s vocals are once again very complimentary to the groove laden music underneath.
‘Ride’ picks up the tempo with a flat out riff assault before easing up dynamically in the verse. The chorus is full of energy which again sounds like it would slay live. K. Raffah’s guitar tone is spot on for this brand of stoner rock, which culminates in a tasty lead break near the song’s end.
By track five, it’s clear that Miss Lava is all about bringing the big riff vibe. ‘Crawl’ is another excellent song that is full of energy. There are some tasteful dynamic breaks which allow the bass some breathing space. But it is ‘Hole to China’ where the bass breaks free more so, permitting some more psychedelic guitar textures to be explored, whilst retaining the bluesy stoner atmosphere. The song is a beast which unfurls its claws as it goes on.
The song writing on ‘Catch The Fire’, ‘Murder Of Crows’, and ‘Motel Neon’ follows Miss Lava’s high standards, as any fan of the genre would find heaps of inspiration here. The drumming throughout the whole album is great; pounding away, keeping those rock solid grooves grounded. The album’s penultimate track is ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ which has an uplifting ambiance, at the same time as being crushingly heavy. The song culminates in a fully-fledged riff fest. The title track ‘Red Supergiant’ closes the album perfectly, slowing down the riff roller-coaster to discover more psychedelic tones, relaxing the listener after the riff induced hysteria that preceded it. A perfect end to a thoroughly enjoyable album!
Please check out this band, highly recommended for fans of the Stoner Rock genre!
- James Thorne
From opening track Desert Mind to album closer, title track Red Supergiant, Miss Lava keeps your undivided attention. With a sound that combines early 90’s Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins with a modern twist, they enthrall and pummel in equal measures; a truly glorious combination. My favorite track on this album is Crawl, the fifth song in the listing. I’m not saying this is the best song on Red Supergiant. There are absolutely no fillers on here, they’re all great tunes. Crawl just happens to be my personal favorite. Listen to the album a couple dozen times like I did and you can decide which one is your fave. One thing is certain. Miss Lava is a band that knows how to find the groove and avoid the ruts.
- Jim Dodge
Fast ‘n’ furious stoner rock from Lisbon’s “authentic rock ‘n’ roll disaster band”!
Although Miss Lava have been rocking stages across Europe for the last five years chances are you won’t have heard of them. Previously a well kept secret with a loyal and growing fan-base in their native Portugal, the band were little known outside of their home country. That could all change with the release of Red Supergiant, the band’s second album, and their first to get a global release thanks to Detroit’s Small Stone Records. It’s a fitting home for the band, taking their place on a roster made up of some of the world’s top trad and stoner rock bands.
Detractors may say that the band’s brand of riff heavy metal borders on the generic and blokey but that somehow misses the point. While the band don’t try to reinvent the wheel, their full-on assault of fast and furious sludge rock will no doubt appeal to the stoner rock faithful. Bass-heavy riffs are the order of the day, with speed-freak drums and lyrics of outsider alienation, anger and dissatisfaction. Not for the faint of heart, this is music to get sweaty to, a soundtrack for stage-diving and getting messed up on a substance of your own choosing.
Prior to signing with Small Stone the quartet had ventured outside of their home country with two UK tours as well as a trip to the States. Who know, with a label behind them hopefully such forays will become easier and like lava news will spread.
- Duncan Fletcher
Miss Lava are a Portuguese band who are steeped in all things desert.
This is no bad thing, their brand of gasoline-fuelled rock and roll bounces along in an appealing way, but I'd love to hear some music that's rooted in their world. The Portuguese landscape is so inspiring it's strange they choose not to capitalise on that.
This is their second album and there's a passion here that reminds me of weirdly, a raft of late 90s garage rock or even a bit of Therapy? from around the Shameless era. It's not quite stoner rock, not quite indie rock, but doesn't descend into Americana as much as you'd expect. Its lyrics however are a little cliched, roaming into familiar territory, singing about vultures, the sun and driving.
However it's all done with a sun-parched style that conjures up images of the desert and sweaty gigs, but where have we seen that before? Great if you can stomach some familiar ground, but a little lacking if you've had your fill of riffs and riding from the likes of Fu Manchu and their ilk.
The production is fat enough to make it stand out, the fuzz of the low-slung bass contrasts perfectly with the wall of guitars on offer and vocals sound as if they are delivered through the fug of a Portuguese evening, strained and clear at the same time.
If you need a waymarker for where rock stands in 2013, Miss Lava are here to show you the way (if you want to go there).