La Chinga have been kicking ass since the three-piece formed in Vancouver, BC, in 2012; their old-school blend of 70’s funk and modern hard rock getting head banging all around. Consisting of Carl Spackler on Lead vocals and bass guitar, Jason Solyom on drums and backing vocals and Ben Yardley on guitar, theremin and backing vocals, the small line up still manage to make an absurd amount of noise. Swinging funky riffs with just a touch of blues and sharpened with rough singing fast drumming, La Chinga are an absolute joy to listen to. Already having two albums in their repertoire – the most recent being just last year – the boys are back again with another collection of twelve songs under the title of “Beyond the Sky”. La Chinga keep the good times rolling by taking their band to new heights, containing even more refined bluesy-funk-rock sounds. “Beyond the Sky” is pumped full of classic sounding bangers. The album was released on the 7th of September through Small Stone Records and already it has been turning heads and satisfying fans of the band, serving to bring the band the attention they deserve. Overdrive Magazine are keen to take a listen through the album to see just how far the band have come since the release of “Freewheelin’” last year.
Starting the album with a fiery riff is “Nothing I Can’t Do”, bringing the blues rock vibes in hard. The drummer sets a driving pace and the guitar solo in this track is well executed with wild abandon that reflects the mood of the whole song, before being followed up with a pick-slide to introduce track 2 called “Wings of Fire”. So far, it seems like La Chinga are shaking off their funk influences in favour of a more stringent diet of hard rock and blues, but it certainly doesn’t remove them from the strength of the music they create, with “Wings of Fire” sounding classically reminiscent of the best of 70’s and 80’s rock.
“Mama Boogie” packs one hell of a groove, with spidery riffs touched with a bit of palm-muting to give a chugging feel during the verses to back up Spackler’s sneering vocals, this song delves back into the realm of funk, with the immersive musical intermission serving as the foundation for Yardley’s spaced-out guitar solo. Following afterwards “Black River”, delivering a more chilled-out but still punchy performance that does not disappoint.
The title track, “Beyond the Sky” begins with a complex and flowing riff before allowing Solyom to lead the verse on drums, continuing with the more laid-back vibe that was born in “Black River”.
Up next is “Keep on Rollin,”, and like the name implies, the band are certainly on a roll with this gem of a song. Starting with the expert touch of Yardley on theremin, it isn’t long before the other musicians take over to provide a blues-rock heavy sound with plenty of room for Yardley to show his skill on guitar too.
“Killer Wizard” takes La Chinga into heavy groove territory once more, laying down a fat guitar tone to supply a down-tuned riff to contrast with Spackler’s ripping vocals to form one hell of an impressive track, especially during the blazing guitar solo that demands a moshpit once the main riff kicks in again. Track 8 called “Death Rider” has a more subdued muted guitar intro with more relaxed vocals, belying the intermittent power during the verses and chorus.
“Feel It In My Bones” relaxes in intensity again, focusing more on the upbeat side of their music and leaving the heavy rock for the next song.
“H.O.W.” picks up the pace again with a classic rock sound, now familiar to La Chinga on this album, while “Warlords” serves as the perfect way to victoriously wrap up an album that is chock-full of old-school hard-rock anthems bound to be lapped up by fans young and old.
La Chinga have outdone themselves with “Beyond the Sky”, although I am disappointed at the lack of funk influences in this release, as I found it was that aspect that made them more unique and distinguished. Nevertheless, they have made huge progress in their sound and I am sure they will keep heading onward and upward. Get your copy through Small Stone records here! https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-the-sky