Visitors / Early Purple (Small Stone)
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., April 19, 2019
A Tia Carrera album is like one of the Austin power trio's live performances: powerful, riff-obsessed, and completely improvised. Happily, the extemporaneous music on their discs can be cranked over and over again, bundling more than simple flash to recommend them. Though a mere two-song EP, Visitors/Early Purple – the group's first released recordings since 2011 – grooves bountiful substance. "Visitors" puts Jason Morales' distorted blues guitar over drummer Erik Conn and new bassist Curt Christenson's busy jam before it collapses into chaos at the conclusion. "Early Purple" dispatches more of the same, though with a simpler rhythmic pummel and a guitar tone choking on fuzz. Somehow, none of this ever sounds like wanking. The band is continually on the search for a point only it can see, much like jazz musicians exploring a bluesy half-dream.