Album Review: Arena Negra by The Myrrors

I reflect a lot on why I like the music I do, writing this blog being part of that process. What is it about a lot of the current left field music that I like? What is it that that unites the electic mix of music that falls under the broad term of ‘psych’. Well there is definitely something about feeling and attitude; something about the DIY nature of the labels and bands that make up the scene, all of which I like. But, I have recently thought, if there is one thing that is more important to me than any other it is that it is music that values the journey and not just the destination that I really love.

What I mean by this is that so much of the music I listen to is about what happens to you when you listen to it, not just a brief high from a hook or chord change (although that does happen sometimes) but a slow and intense build up of sound that enables you to get totally lost in the music and transported somewhere else (surely a pre-requisite of what psychedelic music should be). This is what I get off on the most, and this is what The Myrrors deliver big time with this very welcome new album.

To say that The Myrrors have been playing a long game might just be an understatement. Formed in 2005, the band recorded it’s first album ‘Burning Circles in the Sky’ in 2008, but it didn’t get a full release until 2013 (following a hiatus), almost destined to be a lost classic. Inspired by the desert of the band’s native Arizona it is an album of intense songs that truly deserves to be in the public domain. The album is currently out of print on vinyl…I really hope there is a re-issue.

The reformation of the band led to the release of a 12″ on Cardinal Fuzz & Strange Design. Entitled ‘Solar Collector’, it comprises four brilliant tracks which suggest that the time apart had not done the band any harm at all…quite the opposite in fact.

Which brings me to this new release, out on the Beyond Beyond Is Beyond label on March 25th. This is an album that truly honours the journey: a set which is challenging, meditative and beautiful.

Opening with the title track, this is a wonderfully contemplative piece which drones and soars. It is a track that is still, yet is continually moving and endlessly building with some amazing guitar work. It clocks in at just over eleven minutes long and really could be longer. ‘Juanito Laguna’ is a glorious track with a lilting pace and simple bass line, and gently treated vocals; but really the whole track sings to you. Similarly with ‘Dome House Music’, almost a continuation of the previous track, it has a ‘second movement’ feel to it: a sort of accompanying instrumental if you will.

Last up is ‘The Forward Path’ a twenty two minute odyssey which really brings the band back to their desert roots. It is a track that remains focussed throughout. Roughly the first half of it is what I imagine Godspeed You! Black Emperor would sound like if fronted by the late (and in my view) great Jason Molina (Songs: Ohia/ Magnolia Electric Company). It is a beautifully spiritual and meditative work which, during the instrumental second half has an amazing momentum and builds up such a fantastic head of steam that, as with ‘Arena Negra’, you never…ever…want it to stop. Yet stop it does, reaching some form of resolution; but in a way this hardly matters because the journey itself has been so amazing.



Thanks very much for reading my blog, I really appreciate this. I write it as a labour of love to help me enjoy music, and to give something back to the many talented people who put out these incredible sounds.

To make it as enjoyable as possible for others I do pay extra so there are, for instance, no ads on these pages; but it would be great if the blog could pay for itself.

So, if you’ve really enjoyed your visit here and have found some music that you think is amazing, why not buy me a coffee (I write in independent cafés a lot) by clicking below, or the “make a donation” button or on the sidebar or footer depending on your device.


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