Nitro Mahalia – Nitro Mahalia (Interstellar Records) LP
This here blog doesn’t often get sent promos. But the Bubblegum Cage III’s world famous 800-page constitution specifically states that: “any promo CDs or records the blog does receive will – and indeed must – get reviewed (sooner or later)”. Which is one reason for this review of the debut album by Viennese avant rockers Nitro Mahalia. The other reason is that said album was released by the good people at Interstellar Records, who were responsible for that phenomenal “A Girl & a Gun” 7″ featuring Christian Fennesz.
The Nitro Mahalia sound will be immediately recognizable to fans of John Zorn’s Naked City and Mike Patton’s Fantomas – aggressive virtuosity applied to the aesthetic of cult movie soundtracks. If this self-titled CD doesn’t quite have the impact of those outfits, that’s probably down to the recording, rather than the band itself. Closing track “Ideas are Bulletproof” was recorded live at Vienna’s legendary Rhiz cafe and shows what Nitro Mahalia is truly capable of.
As you might expect from an album of this sort, it’s a mostly instrumental affair. Nevertheless, some of its highlights do come from a handful of appearances from guest vocalists. The new wavy “Victims” (pronounced “wictims”, of course) is particularly charming. It was worth getting sent the promo for this track alone, even if they did send a CDR, rather than the actual vinyl.
Anyone who wants to get a copy of that is advised to purchase it directly from the Interstellar website.