Released: 2007, Arclight Records
I must admit that I don’t know much about Austin, Texas’ Tia Carrera (no, not the actress Tia Carrere) other than what I’ve heard on HEAVEN/HELL. The label’s bio is woefully weak on background information for the band, as is the band’s own website. However, from reading some other reviews around the good old ‘net on this one, it would appear that this E.P. is not the band’s first release. I also don’t know if the “1970” in the band’s URL is a tribute to the year they were formed, or simply a nod to the band’s musical frame of reference.
See, Tia Carrera, at least on HEAVEN/HELL is a total throw back to that heady era of the ‘70s when heavy music was just starting to explore its possibilities. Three songs, 30+ minutes, and a whole lot of jamming is the order of the day, the band’s sludgy, slightly doomy Sabbath/stoner vibe ringing out loud and clear on these instrumental head-trips. Yes, this is Iommi at his most spaced-out, luded moments, exploring the cavernous sleepy mountain where only the likes of Hawkwind dared to tread.
The thing is, as good as he is, I don’t thing Iommi could pull this off. Why? Simply because the entire disc was recorded on one reel of one-inch tape. That’s right kids, this whole disc was recorded live, in one-shot, with no overdubs. In the high tech business of today, that’s unheard of. Respect.
That being said, I can’t say that I enjoyed HEAVEN/HELL that much. These spacey stoner jams are, for me, best enjoyed in small doses and only in specific moods. While I do appreciate the talent and craftsmanship of the disc, it’s just not my thing. Still, I can see a ton of people digging this. Then again, I somehow doubt Tia Carrera gives a shit – this is done for the love of the music and nothing more.
Rock on my brothers, rock on.