Washington DC’s Borracho delivers a groove-laden and epic heavy rock sound that combines soaring musicality with subterranean propulsion. The band draws on deep influences that span multiple decades and genres, encompassing classic rock a-la Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, stoner grooves in the vain of Clutch, Down, and Fu Manchu, and epic metal akin to Metallica, Mastodon and High on Fire, occasionally delving into sludge and doom just enough to topple the fortress. They build upon this foundation with their own brand of sonic richness, sweetening the pot to achieve a mesmerizing, soulful yet guttural musical experience that approaches deliberate and introspective while still embracing the brash openness that makes the rock genre so magnetic. It’ll make you want to drive fast, wreck a building, blaze a joint, or just bang your head.
The band took root in 2007, when four friends and bandmates set out to create a side-project that would indulge the heavier side of their musical tastes, and challenge their musicianship in new ways. The idea for Borracho was to create a straight-up stoner rock band to feature the vocals of Assrockers drummer Noah. In order to move him out from behind the kit, Adam West/Assrockers lead guitarist Mario moved onto the drums, an instrument he’s dabbled with for years. Adam West bassist Steve picked up his trusty flying V and like a riff machine, began unleashing material that quickly grew beyond the bounds of any one genre, probing further and deeper than his prior musical pursuits and, indeed, than the current group’s expectations. Assrockers rhythm guitarist Tim filled up the critical low end on bass, and the final piece was in place.
The band debuted their first recorded song on a 7” split single with Adam West in summer 2008. This limited edition release of “Rectify” on No Balls Records (Germany) proved Borracho to be a formidable force, and gave fans a taste of what is still to come. Only 300 copies were pressed on clear/black swirled vinyl, and were available only at shows during the Adam West 2008 farewell tour of Europe, with copies occasionally showing up on eBay.
While the band began as a side-project, the disbanding of Adam West after their 2008 tour of Europe and Assrockers’ loss of their 3rd bassist freed up more time for writing, rehearsing, and playing shows. The band recorded a fistful of tracks in the summer of 2009 in an abandoned turn of the century mansion, two of which have been made available as demo tracks. “Concentric Circles” and “Never Get it Right” offer a small, early sampling of what the band would come to offer stylistically.
After a 2010 spent recording additional demos and playing shows with old friends The Brought Low, Black Thai, El Grande, King Giant, and others, Borracho entered Airshow studios in Takoma Park MD in March 2011. With Frank Marchand manning the boards, they were able to finally capture the sounds and tones they’ve been honing since conceiving the band. With a portfolio of classic Maryland doom and stoner rock records under his belt—including Hellhound Records’ “Asylum” and “Balance of Power” from Unorthodox, and “Center of the Universe” and “Life Out There” from Wretched— Frank brought his incredible talents and impeccable taste to the project, helping the band establish layered tones both honey-sweet and sequoia-thick. The result is a 60+ minute, sonically devastating, and musically captivating work that achieves utter heaviness without sacrificing melody or musical craftsmanship.
Borracho’s debut full length has been worth the wait. An initial limited release on CD will be released on the band’s own Livingroom Records imprint while they shop it to labels, and will be available at live shows, through the band’s website and CD Baby, and for download through iTunes, Bandcamp, and other electronic outlets. At least one 7″ single is planned for release in the summer on Germany’s No Balls Records, with other opportunities being explored.