Cosmic Priestess (Small Stone)
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., April 29, 2011
Tia CarreraCosmic Priestess (Small Stone)
Metallic improvisationalists Tia Carrera telegraph more than most with song lengths. The instrumental Austin trio's second disc for Detroit indie Small Stone, Cosmic Priestess, reaches deep space nine on its run times alone: 7:32, 15:10, 33:40, 8:01. "Slave Cylinder" blasts off this sci-fi novella light-years past the distortion point, its intergalactic exhaust blowing a hole in its space muffler the size of a moon cluster. Heavy psychedelic blues, in other words, with a fifth gear in drummer Erik Conn's protean drum engine, zero to light speed in one roll of the toms even as guitarist Jason Morales solos into other worlds with a steady molten flow. That leaves bassist Jamey Simms as the sunburst, a burning star of narcotic fuzz and pulse. Floydian "Sand, Stone and Pearl" assumes a post-warp trawl in Fender Rhodes keyboardist Erza Reynolds glazing the weightlessness of the rhythm section as Morales radiates 23rd century dark matter blues. As centerpiece, "Saturn Missile Battery" pummels a certain inevitability past its half-hour mind warp, not necessarily the supernova of Tia Carrera's mile-wide asteroids but still somehow a too-short barrage on our solar system. Cosmic Priestess, cuddle up.