Borracho
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Borracho

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | SELF

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | SELF
Band Metal Rock

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Dec
16
Borracho @ Velvet Lounge

Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Dec
03
Borracho @ The Sidebar Tavern

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Oct
21
Borracho @ Comet Ping Pong

Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Washington, District of Columbia, USA

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The running order was Borracho, Blue Aside, Kings Destroy and Truckfighters headlining, and the show got going a bit before 9PM, allowing extra time for a crowd to arrive for Borracho, who were up from Washington D.C. solely for this one gig. Seemed like a haul, but if the bonus is you get to play with Truckfighters, I can’t imagine it wasn’t worth their time. They got a good response from the crowd too, played (unless I’m mistaken) four songs from their recently-reviewed Splitting Sky album, and were a fitting start to the evening.

I stand by the critiques I made of Borracho in that review, but it’s worth noting that as each song in their set began, I recognized it immediately. Sure, the record’s still relatively fresh in my mind, but I found myself anticipating the chorus of “Grab the Reins” and looking forward to what was coming next — even hoping for “Never Get it Right” — which I took as evidence of a certain level of quality in their songwriting. They have some growing to do yet, some smoothing out of their processes, but there’s something there. It’s not hollow stoner repetition, and while some of their parts wander, their potential as a unit is plain to see in the live setting. I bought a copy of Splitting Sky, and I think it’s going to be really interesting to hear how they develop with their next batch of material.

Their energy was infectious, in the meantime, which actually wound up not doing any favors for Blue Aside, who were decidedly more laid back and stoic in their on-stage presence.... - The Obelisk


Karma to Burn blew through the nation's capital last night, laying waste to the Rock & Roll Hotel on their way through town. Fortunately, Heavy Planet was on hand to witness this aural onslaught in all its sonic glory. But before the instrumental trio took the stage, local boys Borracho plowed through an epic set of stoner rock grooves that had the early arrivers moving and sweating by the time they were finished.

The band wasted no time settling into their rhythm as Steve Fisher picked up his guitar and immediately tore into the opening notes of "All In Play". Noah Greenburg followed suit as he seemingly choked the song's riff out of his guitar while simultaneously introducing the Hotel crowd to his gruff, vocal chord straining bark as he demanded…"get your boots on!". Borracho proceeded to run through three fourths of their debut album Splitting Sky during their 45 minute set which was highlighted by the frenetically paced "Concentric Circles" and the doom laden "Bloodsucker". The latter of which featured perhaps the strangest sing-along ever as bassist Tim Martin joined Fisher and Greenburg in pleading "why don't you take off your clothes?"

But nothing compared to the band's closing number, the epic "Grab the Reins"... The finale easily spanned a quarter of the band's overall set time and showcased their uncommon ability for laying down complex grooves that meander in and out of stoner, doom and classic rock territory all within the span of the same song. This is their signature…this is their knack. And so by the time Fisher, Greenburg and Trubiano waved to the crowd and casually walked offstage, leaving Martin alone as he finished plucking out the song's funky ass bass line, it was as if to say…our job is done here…you people have been thoroughly rocked.
- Heavy Planet


Borracho: After the ride down from NJ and the arrival at the Days Inn where I’m staying, I opened up the bottle of wine I brought with me, turned on the stream of the Yankees radio broadcast and tried to relax a bit before heading back out over to Krug’s Place. Needless to say, the “fuck it” demons were out in full force, but not missing Borracho was a big part of what got me off my ass and back in the car over to the venue. Really. They were even better tonight than they were with Truckfighters, and they basically started their set with the soundcheck. I guess it was kind of a stutter way to kick off the fest, but once they got going, they were locked in for sure. They still need to tighten up their presentation, but already they were too good for the early-showing crowd that caught them. I felt fortunate to be in that number. - The Obelisk


What you get with Washington, DC area band Borracho is a killer hybrid of classic hard rock, stoner rock grooves mixed with a touch of doom. Think Aerosmith in a fist fight with Solarized in a back alley. This band knows how to rock! Check them out live if you are in the DC area. - Heavy Planet


I love it when you’re expecting something and you have high hopes for it. You finally receive what it is you’re looking for and it totally blows away your expectations. Yeah, Borracho’s debut Splitting Sky is like that. On their website they have had a few downloads that were a good representation of the sound they play. Well the cats out of the bag, Borracho is here, the album will be out June 28th, this is a MUST LISTEN album and it’s so fucking good, it will end up on many best of 2011 lists.

The album starts off with a heavy instrumental and leads right into “Concentric Circles,” which is a fast paced, alcohol induced heavy track. “Bloodsucker” is next and starts off with a monstrous riff and income the gruff vocals that sound a lot like Al “Yeti” Bones behind the mic. “Grab The Reigns” follows that off with what is probably one of the most catchy riffs on the whole album. It’s an 11 minute riff fest that when the track ends, feels like it was only about 2 minutes long. “All in Play” is a catchy number which is a bit doomy and sludgy but yet all rock. “Never Get it Right” is a slower tune that is probably close to a doom number. I’ll save “Grinder” for you to hear for yourself (streamed below). The album comes to a close with the epic track “Plunge/Return” which is a massive 11:34 long. It’s more doomy, sludgy and heavy goodness with a very addicting tone and a number of great monstrous riffs.

One listen to Splitting Sky and you’ll see what I’m talking about. This is album full of catchy lyrics, monster riffs, gruffy vocals and everything that makes an album a classic. Look for the band to self release the album through their own label Livingroom Records label. It’ll be available on CD as well as digitally through the usual suspects, Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon etc. Don’t pass this one up! - The Soda Shop


The tale of Washington DC’s latest stoner rock torch bearers, Borracho (that would be “drunk man” in Spanish), is quite an interesting one. The original idea was that members of two other DC bands…garage rockers Adam West and boogie aficionados Assrockers…wanted to swap up their instruments and jam out on some heavy grooves under the guise of a side project. As such, Assrockers drummer Noah Greenburg found himself behind the microphone with a guitar strapped around his neck, while Mario Trubiano, who is the link between the two bands, having played guitar in both, set up shop in Noah’s old seat behind the drum kit. Take Adam West bassist Steve Fisher and Assrockers guitarist Tim Martin and have them switch instruments and voila…the Borracho shuffle was complete. Fast forward a couple of years and here’s the scenario…Adam West is a thing of the past…the Assrockers lineup is in flux…and Borracho is about to unleash a beast of an album that is almost guaranteed to take the stoner rock world by storm. That album is Splitting Sky and Heavy Planet was fortunate enough to get our hands on an advanced copy.

Upon hitting play, you’ll be treated to “Redemption”, an intro that is as powerful as it is brief, serving as a gateway to Borracho’s sound by way of a mammoth riff that’ll hit you like a sucker punch to the gut. By the time you regain your composure…much less your breath, the tempo and the intensity will have escalated like a flash flood, as Borracho steamrolls right into “Concentric Circles”, the first proper song on Splitting Sky. Here, amidst more pummeling riffs and an explosive rhythm, Greenburg introduces us to his Fallon-esque bark as he roars “one shot, it’s over…you’ve gotta set yourself free”. The song is a showcase of the band’s ability to balance power with finesse. Listen as they seamlessly flow from a machinegun riff to a steady groove into a bluesy guitar solo and back again. Be warned, this song is absolutely infectious and will have you moving and flailing regardless of where you’re listening. I promise, you’ll be howling right along with Greenburg as he lashes out at the haves from the perspective of the have-nots with lines like ”come off your high horse, come down to reality…you walk on sunshine, I live in poverty.”

The guys downshift and down-tune into doom territory on the near eight minute “Bloodsucker”, which may or may not be a salute to the stalkers amongst us with lyrics like “I really want you…so I can haunt you…why don’t you take off your clothes?” The song is highlighted by a frenetic guitar solo by Steve Fisher that would easily put a grin on Ritchie Blackmore’s face. It’s hard to believe this guy was playing bass in his previous band.

But wait ‘til you hear “Grab the Reins”, which opens with a steady bass line from Martin that creates an ultra chill vibe and becomes the backbone for the song’s funky groove. This jam continues flawlessly for about four and a half minutes, at which point Borracho kicks it into a gallop as Greenburg spits out lyrics like they’re venom. In fact, his gravelly rasp almost manages to mask the poetic nature of his lines, but the song’s message…to take control of your own destiny…comes through loud and clear as he sings what was obviously the inspiration behind the album’s title…“splitting sky…endless plane…gaining ground…trying to place my aim”. And then around the eight and a half minute mark “Grab the Reins” shifts again, this time into a decadent march wherein Greenburg sounds like a demented drill sergeant as he snarls “hut two…hut two…three, four…you never had what you adore”. And finally the band shifts back into that same steady groove that started it all, ultimately concluding with Martin’s chill bass line from about ten minutes ago…whew…what a ride.

“All in Play” (exclusively available for your listening pleasure below) is another track that clocks in at over eight minutes in length, starting as a bluesy romp, transitioning into a thunderous, near drum solo-like jam (Trubiano is excellent here), then into another extended guitar solo by Fisher and finally into a nasty breakdown that finds Greenburg warning some poor soul “and when your armies fail to come…you find your castle’s come undone…the answer…is run away.” “Never get it Right” opens as a sort of psychedelic guitar interlude…in fact on first listen, that’s exactly what I thought the band meant for it to be…but Borracho is full of surprises and the track eventually shifts gears and transforms into a riff heavy monstrosity that is sure to get a few heads nodding. The band continues to up the ante as they completely let loose and carry the song into overdrive during its closing minutes.

“Grinder” opens with another smooth run up and down the frets by Fisher that Trubiano interrupts with blasts from his snare like a shotgun and before you know it, the entire band is off and running again on one of their signature grooves. Here Greenburg appears to lash out at himself…”I see my reflection here…I know you’re the same…I’ve got your infectious disease…couldn’t find no one to blame.” And then Borracho brings their impressive debut to a close with their epic finale, the eleven and a half minute “Plunge/Return”. The song is a brutal look at substance abuse from the unique first person perspective of the drug itself…”give yourself to me…and I will set you free…I’m not what I seem…but you won’t run away.” The trudging riff and bass line of the track are the perfect accompaniment to the macabre lyrics, lending shock value to Greenburg’s roar of “push it in…let it begin”…and later…“goodbye…say my last goodbye”.

As the feedback from the final chords of Borracho’s opus faded out of my speakers, I was left contemplating the fact that these four gents have just entered a rather significant circle…or brotherhood even. You see the stoner rock/doom scene in the mid-Atlantic U.S. has given rise to some impressive names throughout the years…Sixty Watt Shaman, Scott “Wino” Weinrich and Clutch to name a few. With Splitting Sky, DC’s Borracho have crafted an absorbing debut album that says “we’re ready to join the club.” My recommendation is that you get onboard with this one right now…because chances are, you’ll be paying good money to hear Borracho play it “in its entirety” ten years from now. Splitting Sky is an instant classic. It’ll blow your mind that this whole thing started out as a side project.
- Heavy Planet


I actually have the Soda Shop to thank this discovery. A short while ago, I stumbled upon this Washington DC stoner rock quartet (who also advertised doom influences) who promptly reminded me through three songs why I love stoner rock so much. They had this one song on an Adam West split, and two demo tracks, no proper album. After June 28th, they have their début, “Splitting Sky.” And that I finished this review on June 28th gives a whole new meaning to the word “fate.”

Now, I’ll be honest with you, I expected this album to be good, judging by how well their released material was, even with the rather humble production levels. But I never, ever expected the album to be THIS good. To re-iterate, the Borracho sound is all about fat, fuzzy tones, grooves and slithering solos, thundering bass, throaty vocals and stoner vibes. One thing, though, is that most of the time, the guitar work can be described as “playful” and I will use that adjective a lot. One thing I will say now, however, before we go on: I usually prefer the briefer, faster, stomper-laden side of stoner rock, and as such, this album took a lot of getting used to – but, one thing I can say is that during the longer pieces, the transitions are amongst the smoothest I’ve seen and no matter what song you’re on, you know that it’s Borracho you’re listening to and nothing else (see note). Now, without further ado:




The album kicks of with “Redemption”, which is a cool instrumental opener that introduces the Borracho tune, but the point of the song isn’t that – it is rather to lay groundwork to make the transition into “Concentric Circles.” The song has been revised, of course, since Borracho’s demo days and is a little glossier, little faster and all the more addictive. It’s a stomper full of infectious grooves and hard rock-style guitar work. Next up is the slower, groovier and frankly, sleazier “Bloodsucker” which is a playful, slick tune laid on top of rumbling, fat guitars. It has the smoothest of transitions between just groovin’ and churning out riffs. It has an amazing solo section where the guitars literally duke it out between stable passages and taking different kinds of stabs – there are literally alternating solos fired on all cylinders, one after another, which culminates in a very good finish.

Then comes “Grab the Reigns”, another mid-tempo groove-fest that lays it on just as efficiently as before, before kicking it up a notch or two and springing into action, in which case the more technical chord progressions are dropped in favor of some stoner rock action before bringing it back again and rolling on. But the bridge back to the initial riff kinda takes a little too long in my opinion, but it’s good nonetheless. Following that is “All in Play” the addictive, slithering, grooving masterpiece of a song. The thing that marks this as one of the best on the album is it’s play with shifting gears – you see, early on, in repeating passages, a small, faster riff is played but only as a transition measure, but the band decides to follow that little piece and go all out on it and make their way from that riff on out. Genius.

Next up is the revised and elongated “Never Get it Right” which now features an interesting intro: it’s softer, features acoustic guitars and is bleaker and a little bit more bittersweet. It wouldn’t be out-of-place in a Flight of Sleipnir album, but then comes the real song that is the polar opposite: thundering bass, playful riffs as well as simple yet effective ones, and the song is every bit as great as it was before, if not more so. It stomps, it broods, it shouts and is one hell of a ride. Then comes “Grinder” which features the crowd-pleaser cowbell and alternates between slower ‘verses’ and other parts, which are faster – not stomper-level fast, but faster. It’s Borracho to it’s very bones, has everything that the band has going for them, and has it in spades. It’s a hard-hitting, grooving, lumbering, stoner rock that’s heavy on the rock and light on the stoner.

The album comes to a close with the eleven-minute “Plunge.” It’s a brooding, grooving, chill-out, slow drug song with the lyrics written from the perspective of the drug. It’s basically made out of two sections, the initial part eases us into the tunes and the riffs before this start-stop instrumental passage, followed by the second, more churning second part. This all culminates in a wonderful finish passage, where the band gives a whole new meaning to “slow.”

What is most definitely clear aside from all of that, is the fact that Borracho has come up with one hell of a début, and if this first effort is any indication, they are destined to bring us more infectious grooves and recognizably original pieces in the future. I would prefer more stompers alongside the mid- or low-tempo songs, but I can’t complain about the results in any case. For now, suffice to say that “Splitting Sky” gets a 9/10 from me.

NOTE: One of my most important criterion is that a band has to be shaped like itself beyond all influences that made the sound of that band what it is. A band has to harbor an identity of its own, while understandably sounding like one of their influences – that delicate balance is wherein identity rests, and Borracho has it in spades. Oh, and that 1.0 was because mid-tempo songs get too stacked against one another at one point.
- Doommantia


Borracho is a term for a drunkard in Spanish, but it’s also the name of a kick ass metal band based in Washington DC. They are releasing their new album, Splitting Sky, today and since they’re great guys they’re letting me give away 15 copies of it to the readers of DCHeavyMetal.com! All you’ve got to do to enter in the contest is tell me in the comments below a local band you’d like to see play with Borracho at their CD release show. They’re looking for suggestions so help em out! The contest will end when I have a total of 30 valid entries OR at 6pm EST on Friday 8 July 2011, which ever is first. If the contest doesn’t get 30 entries then less free copies will be given away (I’ll try to keep it so at least half of the entries are winners). Help spread the word so we can get to 30 quickly and more people can get a copy. You can use this short link: http://wp.me/pDCET-Wh When the contest is over I’ll chose, at random from all valid entries, 10 people to get a free digital download of Splitting Sky, and then 4 more to win physical copies of the CD and one grand prize winner to get a physical copy of the CD that is autographed by all four of the members of Borracho as well as a sweet Borracho t-shirt. Be sure to use a valid email address when you make your comments below so I can contact you when you win. The guys gave me an advance copy of their new album and here’s my take on what you can expect from it.
The Splitting Sky album is a heavy mix of stoner rock and doom metal with southwestern influences. Borracho has put a lot of work into getting their songs to sound just right and it shows, from the song writing to the production they’ve done a great job here. There’s lots of crunchy riffs that aren’t just heavy but are also infectiously catchy and memorable. The vocal style is raspy and blue collar, somewhere between Lemmy and James Hetfield, though not over the top so as to detract from the instruments. The rhythm section keeps these songs moving forward even when they slow way down. It’s not all super slow though, for example Concentric Circles picks up the pace quite nicely early on in the album. The album is a very solid 8 tracks long, all but two are longer than 6 minutes which lets the songs really progress well, even when the tempo slows down. The epic 11 minute song Grab The Reins is a great example of this, with a lead in riff that sounds like it would fit nicely on Black Sabbath’s Master Of Reality. Borracho is based inside Washington DC and along with bands like Pentagram, King Giant, and (the now defunct) Salome, they’re helping to remind everyone that this area is still a city for excellent heavy stoner and doom. You can download Splitting Sky right now in a variety of ways, iTunes here, Amazon here, or get a physical copy of the album on CD Baby here. If all that isn’t convincing enough to make you a Borracho fan, check out this song below, titled Bloodsucker, which is track three on Splitting Sky. - DCHeavyMetal.com


BORRACHO play a groovy fuzzed up hybrid of Stoner/Doom Metal. These guys worship at the Church of Almighty Stoner/Doom greatness where the riff is king.

The guys have just released their superb new album “Splitting Sky”. You get 8 tracks on for 57 mins in length.

This is hands-down the Stoner Metal Album release of 2011. See the brilliant reviews it is getting all over the place and be prepared to be amazed.

You want fuzzed drenched Stoner Metal Guitar Riffs, Sublime Stoner/Doom Metal Vocals and badass drumming. Well look no further than Splitting Sky.

This album is going to be a classic of the genre. No question about it.

Things start with a quick Stoner/Rock Instrumental blast of song – “Redemption”. 1.36 mins of awesome Stoner Metal riffs, which really sets up the mood of the album. A great start.

Next up is the 3.21 minute “Concentric Circles”. Full of desert sun-drenched riffs and some really cool lyrics as well. Makes you feel like you are head-banging with these guys in the Californian desert itself at a legendary generator party that KYUSS were famous for back in the day.

The next song is the “7.37” minute epic – “BloodSucker”. Another song full of great Stoner-Metal guitar riffs with even more great lyrics as well. A rather creepy and haunting song done Stoner-Metal Style. The vocals really do have an earthly feel to them even when singing the more risqué lyrics. But all done in the best possible way and taste.

By now this album should have you sold that you are listening to something special and is destined for classic status in the realm of Stoner Metal.

The next track “Grab The Reins” is an 11 minute plus epic, which starts with a really cool bass guitar beat that draws you in until the other members come in to play. Thick riff and after thick sublime guitar riff just go through the entire track. Things do start off slowly before getting into a really cool pace with short outbursts of pure rock fury tinged with Stoner Metal greatness. Check out the guitar riffs around the 3.30 and 4.00 minute mark. Some real talent on show here folks. And we have not got to the half way mark yet. This track just throws up surprise after surprise. Definitely a major highlight to show what these awesome musicians can do.

4 tracks down and 4 tracks to go. Can this album get any better? – In one short answer. YES!!!

By now I was seriously loving this album. This reminded me of listening to KYUSS for the first time back in 2000. (I was a late listener to the Stoner-Metal Genre.) – By that this is a band really worth taking notice of before they really hit the big time in the Stoner Metal Genre. These guys have the same sort of hard working and likeability vibe that KYUSS had. Or now has in KYUSS LIVES. BORRACHO would make great touring partners for KYUSS LIVES. No question about that.

The 2nd half of the album is even better than the first half.

Tracks like the 8.23 minute epic “All In Play” shows these guys know how to play the epic tracks. These guys are masters at it in my opinion with playing on long tracks like this. Just full of more great Stoner Rock/Metal Vibes. Check out the guitar riffs around the 6 minute mark. Sit back and prepared to be amazed.

The remaining 3 tracks are lengthy tracks as well. Especially the last 11.37 minute epic track “Plunge/Return” which is also my favourite on this outstanding album.

Track No 6 – “Never Get It Right” starts off with a really cool and subdued guitar riff with some intricate guitar playing. This is BORRACHO’s lighter/mobile phone in the air song before the normal business of Heavy Stoner Riff plays through. This even has a nice Stoner Take on a well known Metallica riff. Possibly showing homage to one of their heroes perhaps. But it does indeed work. Some more sublime vocals on show here. Another outstanding track that shows these guys actually Did Get It Right.

The next track “Grinder” is seriously a pure Stoner/Boogie Rock song from the word go. Full of fast riffs and excellent pounding drumming. A 6.34 minute blast from start to finish that anyone can head-bang to. Even if you’re a Stoner Fan or not.

And now the last track “Plunge/Return” is an 11:37 minute monster. This is seriously one of the best Stoner-Metal tracks I have had the pleasure to hear this year. Full of more amazing Stoner-Metal riffs with more hard hitting drumming.

The production is outstanding on this album. Crisp, clear, expertly played and loud from start to finish.

BORRACHO have released an album they should rightly be proud of.

These guys will be your Favourite new Stoner Metal Band. As this is now my favourite Stoner-Metal Album of 2011. I can’t wait to see what these guys do next. This will be the album that their future work will be compared against.

A Classic In the Making and definitely a landmark album in Stoner-Metal. An album that every Metal Fan should own if you’re a Stoner Metal Fan or not. - The Sludgelord


On a conceptual level, there’s almost nothing new about a double-guitar four-piece from Washington D.C. getting down with riff-led groove, and yet, listening to heavy rockers Borracho – who make their full-length debut on the self-released Splitting Sky (released on No Balls Records in Germany) – there’s no denying the formula works. Fuzz guitars lead the way through eight tracks/57 minutes of burly, American riff rock, underscored with formidable bass thickness, crashing drum punctuation and topped with gruff vocals. Splitting Sky is among the dudeliest albums I’ve heard this year – I’m pretty sure my beard grew some just in listening to it for this review – and though Borracho don’t veer too far from their sphere once they establish it, the songs accomplish what they set out to do and then some, rocking with authority and providing at least superficial if not structural shifts to hold listeners in place.

Borracho formed in 2007 as a side-project from reshuffled members of Adam West and Assrockers, and issued their first release as a split with the former in 2008. The ensuing three years has brought demos and shows, and after a recording session with Frank Marchand (engineer for the varied likes of Unorthodox, Nothingface, Deceased and Bob Mould), emerged with Splitting Sky. It’s an album with melodic consciousness but more emphasis on riffs and grooves, and vocalist/guitarist Noah (first name only) delivers lyrics with a throaty “hey whoa yeah” inflection that, for the life of me, I can only refer to as “stoner rock voice.” He’s largely unipolar in his approach, keeping the feel even for a spoken part in 11:35 closer “Plunge” and waiting three minutes for “Never Get it Right” to amass sufficient heaviness before coming on with what is nonetheless one of Splitting Sky’s stronger performances.

Vocalist Neil Fallon of Clutch is an easy comparison point there, but even more appropriate for the earlier cut “Grab the Reins” – the only other song besides “Plunge” to top 10 minutes at 11:05 – where the riffing from Noah and lead guitarist Steve Fisher is even more suited to the “Big News I & II” conversational lyrical style. Marchand’s production seems to push everything as loud as possible, which is never a bad ethic for a rock band of Borracho’s ilk to have, but does so at the sacrifice of some of the dynamic range of the material. “Grab the Reins” and “All in Play,” which follows, each boast several movements, and though the band’s transitions between them are smooth, when Fisher begins his solo section “All in Play,” it’s easy to already be lost in the material so that the last few minutes of the track – which feature some underlying swirls and a payoff that night otherwise be among Splitting Sky’s most satisfying – pass unnoticed and don’t get the appreciation they deserve. That said, “All in Play” to “Never Get it Right” is the most seamless shift on the album, and if the tradeoff is I need to listen a few more times to fully understand what’s preceding, I’ll take it.

Curiously, some of Borracho’s tightest and most engaging material is what they lead with. The curious part about that – because plenty of acts put their strongest material up front under the theory that it’ll hook listeners in to the rest of the album – is that the songs are (at least) roughly half the length of everything else. Opener “Redemption” is an instrumental intro at 1:37, a basic hello that sets up following cut “Concentric Circles,” but even it manages to squeeze in effective stoner riffing and deep low end from bassist Tim Martin before it’s done. And “Concentric Circles” is the only genuine barn-burner rock number on Splitting Sky, with a fiery verse and a chorus that slows to provide ample contradiction. Granted, an album is supposed to feature a breadth of ideas, sounds and (ideally) pacing, but Borracho never quite return to the kind of energy they elicit on “Concentric Circles,” instead fleshing a song like “Bloodsucker” out past seven minutes or plugging away at the late-arriving “Grinder,” which arrives just before the closer and, despite effective use of Fu Manchu cowbell (as if there’s any other kind) from Trubiano, offers little stylistically the band hasn’t already shown.

The issue, then, isn’t necessarily one of lacking quality or scope of the songs – Borracho deliver everything they need to on both levels – but one of structure, in that “Redemption” and “Concentric Circles” brace listeners for something Splitting Sky isn’t trying to deliver. “Bloodsucker” makes for an appropriate beginning to the album proper, and though lyrics like “Why don’t you take off your clothes/I really want you/Why don’t you take off your clothes/So I can haunt you” feel lazy, they nonetheless are memorably presented in a call and response and fitting with the classic rock approach to which Borracho are allied. Drunk at Krug’s Place, I’d probably be on board, especially with the killer layered solo from Fisher that follows (Noah might be in on that as well; it pans channels and sounds like two separate tones), but for an afternoon at the office, it’s somewhat less fitting.

Still, Splitting Sky shows marked promise from Borracho. In a way, I’d almost like to hear them in a rawer, less normalized-feeling production, as I think that might highlight some of the stylistic variety more, but although the album feels long at its 57 minutes, changes like that brought on by “Never Get it Right”’s moodier beginning are entirely welcome and necessary. As “Plunge” earns its title by descending into crashes, feedback and some last-licks acoustic guitar, the arrival of Borracho is definitively stated. The album has received high praise from reviews and listeners alike, and earns every bit of it despite the issues aforementioned. If nothing else, Splitting Sky assures this won’t be the last we hear from Borracho, and with the depths of groove these guys can plunder when they get going, that’s just fine by me. - The Obelisk


Lots of praise circulating the stoner rock circles for this dual axe fronted, DC born group of scraggly rock enthusiasts. They’ve got a big name producer manning the boards, Frank Marchand, who has worked with everyone from nu-metal mavens Nothingface, to thrash/death gods Deceased, and there’s no shortage of riffs running throughout their 8-cut debut, Splitting Sky (which will be getting a special vinyl release in the very near future, but is only available digitally, and on CD at this point in time), but I’m hardly as blown away as I expected to be.

Borracho’s sound hovers between the traditional, silver lining grooves of Clutch and Fu Manchu and the rougher edges of Earthride, and Backwoods Payback; irresistible stoner boogie filtered through a loud ass production, and sludge-y riffs/tones. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I just reviewed/bought a slew of stellar Smallstone releases, or the additional fact that I’m on a big Man’s Ruin kick all over again, but Splitting Sky, barely registered on the weighing scale after the first few listens. After continued spinning of the album, I find that I like most of the riffs/music just fine, but the vocals, eh, not so much. The straining, “yeah he ha” roar is about as one dimensional as it gets, half Neil Fallon and half James Hetfield, but with an absence of character, variety, intensity, or dynamics. To clarify, while Dave Sherman or even Neil Fallon are hardly considered timeless, choir-level vocalists, you can’t deny the fact that they use whatever tools necessary to get the job done, and maintain a lively energy level, and a one-of-a-kind approach throughout that fits the rise and fall of their respective, musical endeavors. That’s the thing that separates the men from the boys in this genre of rock n’ roll…you don’t have to be a professionally trained crooner to get the point across, just bust it out there, try some different tactics, and see what happens. I appreciate Noah’s efforts here, but he stays exactly in one mold throughout. They might have managed better with a wall of screams cutting through the mix, but instead we get a raspy, one-note tone that never matches the sharp power of the band’s riffs. I’m all for that rough, chewin’ on gravel stoner rock voice, but this one is lacking any sort of twists to make it standout. But boy are these riffs good, and there’s no way I can deny that!

After the doom-y, instrumental opener, “Redemption” pounds away at your cranium, the boys launch into the high energy, stoner rock tornado of, “Concentric Circles.” It’s all a flurry of upbeat, Fu Manchu grooves played at about ten times the volume with sludge-y, mid-paced Maryland doom swagger rounding things out. The rhythms are taut, a literal wall of sound fronted by manic, fill intensive drumming, and perfectly audible bass lines that elbow their way through the sea of deafening guitar riffs. A whip sharp solo hurls itself at your eardrums before the song comes to a close, as Noah’s strained holler warbles out a mediocre Neil Fallon impersonation. It’s a very solid track, rendered average by the lazy eyed vocals.

To be fair, and not a total dickhead, Noah’s voice works much better on the seedy, wah-soaked sludgefest “Bloodsucker.” On some of these slower; doom as the tomb tracks, Noah’s awkward vocal delivery seems to be a bit more at ease, and more suited to the proceedings. You don’t need a lot of range to shout about someone sucking out your soul (as the chorus so clearly states, “I need your soul!”), over a bed of pointy, churning Earthride influenced riffs, molasses mangled rhythms, and wah-wah enhanced guitar FX. A couple of the riff variations in this tune remind me heavily of the Earthride classic, “Understand” off of Vampire Circus, and everything from the music, to the classy guitar solo, ending with the throaty vocals that straddle a fence between Sherm and Fallon, further hammers the reminder home. Still, on its own two legs, this song is pretty damn strong, and well-put together…probably my favorite on the album, and one that showcases the fact that Borracho is in possession of the God given tools to nail this particular sound, and nail it hard.

“Grab The Reigns” goes on a mite too long for my taste. It’s a solid track, but could have benefited from a little editing in the mixing room, though it sure as hell starts off well enough! A chunky, hopelessly bluesy bass groove paves the way for a crippling beat, and a maelstrom of Southern-fried, doom riffs; lightly Sabbath spiced, fricasseed in Skynyrd gravy, a garnish of Clutch parsley on the side, and some Earthride/Backwoods Payback chunks added for that girthiness that signifies a complete musical dish. Before the uptempo, midpoint, stoner swing beams into direct view, the band struts through a few gripping, southern lead guitar runs that are soon to become a major calling card for the track’s second half, along with a gauntlet of blues-minded riffs. “All In Play” follows much of the same template as the rest of the record, opening up with a crunchy, 90s stoner groove, but it doesn’t really find itself until the second half. While the groove in the first half is certainly there, it’s been done much better throughout the rest of the album (and on many other albums), and the vocals are flatter than a pancake that’s been rolled over by a steamroller driven by a sumo wrestler; no life, no swagger…just kind of hovering there, doing their best to belt it, or cough up some phlegm…I’m not sure which. Yet, the second half is a doozy, lead by a metallic midsection that hits you right in the breadbasket with a surprising, double-kicked heft, and snarling riffs that eventually melt into an extended outro of lightly psyched-out guitar leads, and swirling rhythmic flourishes, before delving into swampy sludge one last time.

The feedback squalls that end, “All In Play,” flow seamlessly into the lush psych of “Never Get It Right,” and its fuzzy intro of aquatic bass groove, melodic guitar leads, clean strum, and droning synthesizers. All of the introspective pondering of the unit and its locked-on musicians explodes into a corrosive, rough n’ tumble stoner groove, a groove that’s equal parts Clutch-y funk nod, and teeth gnashing, Earthridian blues/doom. The music’s fantastic from start to finish on this track…great atmospheric build-up, slamming rhythms when the megaton riffs hit, said megaton riffs really dotting all of the I’s…but those damn vocals drag ass from here to the Maxon-Dixon. I can say much of the same about “Grinder,” a maniacal, start to finish rocker with great riffs, adrenaline-injected percussion (some taut fills really add to the overall power of the tune), and gargantuan tones…but it’s all unfortunately eclipsed, and undermined but that same ho-hum singing. Closer, “Plunge/Return,” milks the elongated doom tit for all it’s worth, and certainly brings some well-oiled, southern-fried, magma doom riffs/leads to the table, balancing them on a sturdy, molten rhythmic foundation, and snail race, sludge timings…while the vocals sink further and further into a third gear rut.

I was hoping for much more than I actually got out of Splitting Sky. Borracho can certainly handle their instruments, and write tight compositions full of gut-busting riffage, and inhuman rhythmic rampage, but those vocals have got to go. Every now and again they’re tolerable, but amongst similar outfits with superior, more charismatic vocals…i.e. Earthride, Backwoods Payback, Galactus, Scissorfight, Suplecs, Red Giant, Clutch, etc. I find it tough to give Splitting Sky a wholehearted recommendation, but definitely keep an eye on the band in the future…with a stronger voicebox set to these mighty riffs, I can sense great things. Perhaps Noah just needs to develop some confidence behind the microphone, but in the meantime I can only recommend Splitting Sky to the rabid stoner faithful who absolutely, positively must hear every single release to come down the pike. I listened and then went back to my favorites…see how it works out for you. - Hellride Music


Washington DC’s BORRACHO remind me of ROLLERBALL’s case which, fortunately, I had to deal with last year; the story is pretty much the same though: they both play Stoner Rock, spitting heavy Rock tunes with passionate reading, mixed with a generous dose of MELVINS’ mood. I discovered this band by accident a couple of weeks before, when I was searching for new videos in YouTube. It’s amazing how interesting stuff you might get there if you are searching right. Well, Noah, Steve, Tim and Mario teamed up 4 years ago and “Splitting Sky” is the debut album, released from their webpage, served with a ‘salty taste’ of tequila on top. You still don’t get it, do you?

It is true that nowadays is a hard time for newbies out there, so BORRACHO decided to go solo, meaning to release their material via the internet making it available for free to anyone who would visit their page and discover their powerful, rousing music. You see, there are zillions bands that want to start to be involved with the music industry, admittedly a task not easy at all. So, the best way to be known at first (and famous secondary) in 2011 is via the magic and mysterious world of internet.

Besides the dynamic artwork of “Splitting Sky” and the well-served package which combines monstrous doses of groove, Stoner guitar riffs and badass drumming, BORRACHO prove to the maximum that they have got plenty of ideas, well-played themes and most of all, skills, able to be compared to the first-builders FU MANCHU or NEBULA for example. Of course, they didn’t ‘reinvent the wheel’. Nevertheless, the catchy riff and the groovy rhythm of “Concentric Circles” is the proof for my saying, while Noah’s comfort behind the mic is way obvious, knowing exactly what he is doing.

And these are not the only goodies here; many people complain that Stoner Rock lacks of guitar solos. ‘Not’, I would like to add here, since BORRACHO got everything. Listen to “Bloodsucker” which comes next; the numb guitars have nothing to jealous from other Stoner boulders, the vocals have the perfect proportion of phlegm, while few short-cut solos roam here and there, creating a KYUSS-esque ‘party’ atmosphere.

Of course, we have to deal with some CLUTCH influences too; “Grab The Reins”, “All In Play” and “Grinder” aren’t afraid to admit it, since Noah’s throat adopts Neil Fallon’s ‘quirks’, while the closing “Plunge / Return” shows the way to the locker room, winking meaningfully that more material will follow soon.

The final question is: ‘are BORRACHO able to split the sky in two?’ Well, I think they just did it. Check their web page asap. - Metal Kaoz


Amazing stoner / doom metal practiced by this quartet from U.S. (Washington DC, to be exact), where the listener is invited to travel during the eight tracks on the album,brought a world full of really heavy riffs, groove / fuzzy passages, powerful vocals and a heavy drumming line, as tradition dictates the style.

In my view, Borracho with this debut has become one of the highlights in the stoner rock / metal scene in '11. "Splitting Sky" is a powerful album, which brings you tomind passages that remember Kyuss and Down, but that brand by presenting a band with their own sound without being tied to cliches of the style. Undoubtedly, this is already on my list of favorite albums of 2011 and can not wait for the next full-length. Borracho are Noah (guitar / vocals), Steve (guitar), Tim (bass) and Mario (drums).
- Derochas Stoner Rock Blog (Brazil)


Do you ever look at someone with the distinct feeling that you know them from somewhere but just can’t really place where? That real sense of familiarity even though the chances are you’ve never ever met. This new album from Borracho is the musical equivalent of that feeling. This is a very familiar album in so many ways, even on the first listen. In fact you’d be forgiven for thinking this may be another in a long line of Small Stone releases!!!

That isn’t to say this is a bad album, in fact being compared to any Small Stone releases is a big compliment. It’s more that this album falls right into the middle ground of the whole stoner/doom scene. From the off opening track “Redemption” is a brief instrumental that heralds the album with big juicy stoner rocking riffs and beating its hairy chest. When “Concentric Circles” kicks in with a supercharged riff full of 70’s rocking goodness, the adrenaline starts to pump and we are introduced to vocalist/guitarist Noah’s scorched and throaty vocals…another stoner box ticked.

Like any good dealer Borracho have lured you in with a couple of freebies and now it’s time to pay. “Bloodsucker” eases back on the pace but ups the groove with a massive set of swinging balls and some very tasty lead playing. It’s absolutely nothing you’ve never heard before, in fact it bears very close resemblance to Halfway To Gone in so many ways, but that’s not to say it isn’t done with a great deal of grit, integrity and guts. Let’s face it, most bands nowadays that actually try to sound original usually end up churning out some overplayed pretentious bullshit and sometimes you need a band that’s prepared to just get grimy, let you drink your beer and nod your head…hello Borracho.

The next track “Grab The Reigns” does beg the question, does this kind of music really need an 11 minute epic? That’s a difficult one to answer. This track is full of the requisite big riffs and grooves and Noah’s raunchy vocals soar over proceedings well but instead of using the extended format to explore a handful of musical themes and play with them this does just sound like 2-3 songs slapped together. On the face of it it’s classic stoner but it does require a little more patience than the average listener may be willing to pay.

If it’s a greasy groove you want though, next track “All In Play” certainly delivers as it rolls along on a slinky 70’s influenced riff at a pretty sedate pace. Noah’s more restrained, bluesy vocal here is a welcome breath of fresh air and the song delivers the strongest chorus hook so far. At over 8 minutes though it could possibly have benefitted from a little self editing. That said the Maidenesque double bass drum led charge that ushers in the mid section is a welcome shot of energy and shows that there is a little more to Borracho than a flick through the stoner rock rule book.

Just when you think you’re about to drown under the weight of the riff Borracho do a tasty about turn on “Never Get it Right” which slides in like a cross between a classic southern rock ballad and Maiden’s “Remember Tomorrow”. However, just when you expect those big rasping vocals to drop a mournful tale of roaming lost highways…blah blah blah the band turn on a dime and drop the riff bomb where a sliding figure alternates with a weighty Metallica-esque verse that brings to mind “Sad but True”. The subtle differences to help the track to stand out from much of the other tracks here, even when they saddle up the horses and hit a boogie gallop half way through, the segue is seamless.

“Grinder” kicks off with another typical stoner riff, a good one, but another stoner riff nonetheless. However, when the verse drops with some tasty cowbell all is forgiven. The strong chorus and semi psychedelic lead touches also offer some fine southern redemption from stoner obscurity.

It’s time to tighten your braces and settle in for another 11 plus minute epic in the form of “Plunge/Return”. I will admit to a little trepidation as the songs rolls into view on an uninspired stoner doom riff and a lazy down tempo groove. Four and a half minutes in and some unexpected yet very welcome vocal harmonies lift the mood a little and some subtle acoustic guitar offer a different texture but it doesn’t really do enough to highlight that the song is just that bit too long to endure comfortably. Even when they shift things up a gear at the 6 minute mark it fails to take off as it should.

Borracho are undoubtedly an excellent band with a truckload of gold star potential in them and “Splitting Sky” is a fine and enjoyable album, however the songs would benefit from a little self restraint and quality control. At 8 tracks over approximately 57 minutes a little trimming of the fat would have taken this album from being a good stoner rock album to being a great rock record. Definitely one to check out though if you like your riffs big and your moonshine lethal!!! - The Sleeping Shaman


One of the biggest hopefuls of the stoner metal scene is Borracho, who released the milestone Splitting Sky. This record was featured and reviewed in nearly EVERY relevant stoner/doom blog (The Soda Shop, Heavy Planet, Sludgelord, Doommantia, The Obelisk, The Sleeping Shaman, Hellride Music, et al.), so that there is not much left to say for me. I make it short - BETTER THAN CLUTCH! Blasphemous? No, it is the truth.
- Captain Beyond Zen


A funny thing has happened since I reviewed Splitting Sky, the first full-length from Washington D.C. outfit Borracho. I haven’t listened to the record in a couple weeks — right up until I put it on just now to write this — and yet as recently as this morning before my daily caffeine load up, I had the chorus of “Grab the Reins” stuck in my head. Of all the debuts I’ve heard and reviewed this year, Borracho‘s may have left the strongest and most lasting impression.

For that alone, it’s worth featuring the band, but after I got to see them in-person opening for Truckfighters in Manhattan, I felt like I understood even better what it was about the songs that had stayed with me to such an extent. By combining Clutch-style riffy groove with just a touch of dirt-rock grit and burl into solid rhythms and topping it with truly killer lead work from guitarist Steve Fisher, Borracho have crafted a sound that’s like a nod to rock heads, as though, while they’re standing in front of you playing, they’re going, “Check out this shit I came up with. It rules.”

More than anything else, what Splitting Sky sounds like is the first statement from a band looking to leave a lasting mark on the scene. The reception has been huge, and aside from wanting to get the band’s take on that, I thought it would be interesting to find out their take on where they fit in the long-running D.C. legacy of heavy/doom rockers, and a bit more info on their basic bio and how they came together from the now-defunct units Assrockers and Adam West. Drummer Mario Trubiano was kind enough to field the interview on behalf of the band as a whole.

Borracho is Trubiano, Fisher, bassist Tim Martin and guitarist/vocalist Noah. Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions, and expect much more on these guys in the future.

1. How did Borracho get together? What happened to bring about the end of Adam West and Assrockers, and was there a point where you knew Borracho was going to be the main priority?

We were all buds who played music together for years in Assrockers and Adam West. In 2007, Adam West did not go to Europe to tour for the first time since 2000, and Assrockers’ activity level was pretty low while we were looking for a new bass player. I kicked the idea to Steve and Noah about doing something with me on drums, Steve on guitar, and Noah singing, since the three of us have all been big fans of stoner rock for a long time. They both liked it in theory but we didn’t get right on it. As soon as Tim heard about it he wanted in, and he was in.

We had the Assrockers rehearsal space available, so one night we finally got together, Steve came in with his gear and the rest of us took up one of the others’ rigs. I think Noah had two or three songs he’d been working on, and Steve had a LOT of riffs, parts, and sections, and we just jammed that night. There was undeniable chemistry, but it was pretty rough.

In 2008, we got together regularly, and even cut a two-take, live-in-studio version of our song “Rectify” that we arranged to have on a split 7” with Adam West to be available for what was to be the farewell Adam West tour in Europe. But that year was pretty focused on the new Adam West record ESP and that tour. Assrockers was still writing, playing a few shows, and rehearsing, with Bruce Falkinburg on bass.

By 2009, with Adam West fully retired, Borracho began to hit a stride. We had a lot of songs ready to record, had played some cool shows with our buds from Ol’ Scratch, Cortez, and Sun Gods in Exile, but we weren’t playing out too much. We began tracking what we thought was going to be our debut in a fly-by-night studio in an old vacant mansion in Arlington, Virginia. We actually moved into the mansion for rehearsal during the same time. It was a super cool spot, but the outcome of the sessions wasn’t up to snuff for a bunch of reasons, and it actually was never finished at all. Some progress on the recordings continued into 2010, but we were all pretty disappointed with what we got and ultimate shelved it. We ended up with some reasonable demos of “Concentric Circles” and “Never Get it Right.”

During this period I started realizing I was becoming more of a drummer than a guitarist, which was a pretty startling revelation. Bruce left Assrockers, and the band moved to a space that we didn’t ever fully get comfortable in, and really just stopped playing with any endgame. 2010 was notable for Borracho only for launching our website, and getting together with more old friends we had shared the stage with before in our other bands. We loved bringing The Brought Low to D.C., Scott [Fuse] from Cortez came down here with his other band Black Thai, and we met and played with the guys in El Grande, who have become our local brothers in rock.

2. Tell me how Borracho’s sound developed to the point of Splitting Sky. The album has been so well received, and Borracho’s style seems to have a pretty diverse range of influence. What inspires a song like “Concentric Circles” as opposed to “Grab the Reins?”

Most of what ended up becoming Splitting Sky was material we all collaborated on. Our writing process became pretty fluid – usually starting with a riff and a jam. Steve is a riff-aholic!! I’d say the earlier days when we were all getting more comfortable with our instruments, we were more structured. We’ve built a much more collaborative process in the last year or so, and our newer material came together pretty quickly just from jams during rehearsals. Splitting Sky has a mix of tunes – from those that were brought in by Steve or Noah and some that we really wrote all together. I think that really is the reason why you can hear some of the difference in influences.

We actually have a bunch of great songs that didn’t make it onto the record, more because they didn’t mesh with other songs the way the eight tracks from Splitting Sky just work together. We actually have quite a bit of faster material – tunes that didn’t make the record, but that don’t lack in quality, just space/time. We’re hoping to put these tunes to good use soon!

We definitely all are huge fans of all kinds of music, and the area of overlap in our tastes is pretty much squarely the sound you hear from us. That being said, I wouldn’t expect our next record to sound a lot like this one. We don’t feel any pressure to be limited in our approach, and so far the new material we’re working on has its own vibe and we won’t know what the next song will sound like till we jump into it. I think we all feel fortunate to be able to play music with the same guys for five and 10 years, and be able to sustain the chemistry we all have even after changing instruments. Our sound just comes from clicking as musicians and friends.

3. How did you get hooked up with Frank Marchand, and how was recording with him? Did you do the album all at once? What was the time in the studio like?

Ah, we thank our boys from El Grande, who brought him along to do sound at a couple shows we played with them in D.C. and out in Maryland in their neck of the woods. Amazingly Frank asked us if we wanted to do some recording with him because he really liked our sound. The timing of it was just right. We had wasted a lot of time on our previous recording venture, and really wanted to lock down a time and place to do a proper recording session. We met Frank at the exact right time in December 2010, and immediately made plans to get in the studio in March to cut the record.

Working with Frank at such a nice studio that was literally minutes from all of our houses made for one of the best recording experiences any of us have ever had. Beforehand, we weren’t sure if we had the time to record everything we wanted to record. We talked about doing an EP. In the end we said fuck it – let’s do as much as we can. The energy was right, the sound was amazing, and we were well rehearsed. I cut all the drums in the first weekend and we ended up keeping most of the live guitar and bass tracks. We went in another weekend session to finish up guitar overdubs and track vocals, a day to mix and a day to master, and we were done. It all went extremely smoothly. You don’t want to be in a studio and feel like you’re working. I mean at times it’s laborious, but overall you want to feel like you are creating, you want to be psyched. We felt pretty quickly that we were onto something good, so we were in fantastic spirits. It exceeded our expectations as far as the experience and the outcome go.

4. The D.C. scene has been strong going back decades at this point. Do you see Borracho fitting in with the D.C. or Maryland pedigree of bands at all?

This is a fitting, but funny question that could be answered in a bunch of different ways. First off, we’re humble guys. We play music because we love it. It’s a flattering prospect to be considered a part of some pedigree. But it feels different in D.C. than maybe it did in Baltimore and the area of MD most known for the doom scene. The past 10 years in D.C. proper hasn’t been very nice to heavy bands. We’ve felt almost alienated in this town at times. I think there’s something to be said about the bands you’re referring to – Pentagram, Spirit Caravan, Clutch, Sixty Watt Shaman, etc. – actually all being guys from Maryland. Part of that scene was that a lot of kids grew up together, they were mostly all friends. It kind of nurtured itself.

Borracho is a bit different by nature because we’re all from all over the place. It’s interesting that we met here – our only shared experience is here and it’s been that way for years so certainly there is a good amount of Maryland dirt cooked in. But we all take something from our respective scenes in Boston, New York, Colorado, the Midwest, and even London, where Steve spent some formative musical years. We don’t have these influences of what our direct peers, who we grew up with and played in a bunch of other bands with would have.

5. You guys are playing Stoner Hands of Doom XI next month at Krug’s Place in Frederick. How did that come about and is there anyone in particular you’re looking forward to seeing?

We actually talked to Rob and Cheryl back in 2009 about playing, but it didn’t work out. As soon as I heard they were bringing it back this year I dropped a note to them to see if they still had any space. We pretty much picked up one of the last slots. The timing is actually just right. With our album just out we’re hoping that some folks will come with the intention of seeing us, but in the end there’s a huge potential for exposure that a regular show doesn’t get you. We’re looking forward to it. We definitely see a show like this and even the one we just played in New York as amazing opportunities to get in front of more fans of the this kind of music. If we can make some new fans opening up the entire festival Friday evening then we’ll have succeeded. So – if you are coming to SHoD please come early Friday to catch us!

I for one am excited to see Earthride who I haven’t seen in ages, Electric Magma from Canada, and Gates of Slumber who are playing Friday night too! But mostly we’re all stoked to just take in a ton of good tunes, meet and hang with the other bands, and get to be fans for a few days.

6. Any other shows coming up, plans or closing words you want to mention?

We’ve got some shows in the works in September and October, including a CD release show. We’ll be announcing each of them as they are confirmed, but we should have some shows in the D.C./Baltimore area, a trip up to the northeast, and a trip down south. The vinyl release ofSplitting Sky is scheduled for early-September on No Balls Records, and we’ll be selling them at shows, on our site, and through No Balls directly. We also have another announcement that we’ll be making soon about another vinyl release. You’ll have to wait for that one.

Lastly, thanks to everyone in the scene for all of the support, and for making this one of the best underground scenes for bands and fans. We look forward to delivering quality music long into the future, meeting a lot of great people – fans and bands – and continuing to nurture this scene with all of you! - The Obelisk


The release of Splitting Sky, the debut from Washington D.C. four-piece Borracho, probably flew under your radar. Hell, it just about flew under mine, but fortunately through the diligence of the band acting on their own behalf, I got to hear the record and have come over the last couple of months to get to know it decently well. It’s a first album, for sure, but Borracho bring something of their own to staple riffy groove that’s only going to serve them well going forward, and if their recent performances with Truckfighters in NYC and at the Stoner Hands Of Doom XI fest in Maryland are anything to judge by, they have the potential to leave a real stamp on the heavy rock underground.

Songs help, and if Splitting Sky has anything, it has songs. From the memorable choruses of “Never Get It Right” and “Grab The Reins” to the tight execution of “Concentric Circles,” Borracho show there’s more to quality rock than cool riffs and solos—but of course there are those too. Lead guitarist Steve Fisher and guitarist/vocalist Noah supply in good form while bassist Tim Martin and drummer Mario Trubiano fill out the sound and set the pace.

Trubiano was kind enough to take a couple questions on behalf of the band and help people get introduced to Borracho, starting with how they got together following the breakups of the members’ former bands…

What happened to bring about the end of Adam West and Assrockers, and was there a point where you knew Borracho was going to be the main priority?

We were all buds who played music together for years in Assrockers and Adam West. In 2007, Adam West did not go to Europe to tour for the first time since 2000, and Assrockers’ activity level was pretty low while we were looking for a new bass player. I kicked the idea to Steve and Noah about doing something with me on drums, Steve on guitar and Noah singing, since the three of us have all been big fans of stoner rock for a long time. They both liked it in theory but we didn’t get right on it. As soon as Tim heard about it he wanted in, and he was in.

We had the Assrockers rehearsal space available, so one night we finally got together, Steve came in with his gear and the rest of us took up one of the others’ rigs. I think Noah had two or three songs he’d been working on, and Steve had a lot of riffs, parts and sections, and we just jammed that night. There was undeniable chemistry, but it was pretty rough.

In 2008, we got together regularly, and even cut a two-take, live-in-studio version of our song “Rectify” that we arranged to have on a split 7” with Adam West to be available for what was to be the farewell Adam West tour in Europe. But that year was pretty focused on the new Adam West record ESP and that tour. Assrockers was still writing, playing a few shows, and rehearsing, with Bruce Falkinburg [ex-The Hidden Hand] on bass.

By 2009, with Adam West fully retired, Borracho began to hit a stride. We had a lot of songs ready to record, had played some cool shows with our buds from Ol’ Scratch, Cortez and Sun Gods In Exile, but we weren’t playing out too much. We began tracking what we thought was going to be our debut in a fly-by-night studio in an old vacant mansion in Arlington, Virginia. We actually moved into the mansion for rehearsal during the same time. It was a super cool spot, but the outcome of the sessions wasn’t up to snuff for a bunch of reasons, and it actually was never finished at all. Some progress on the recordings continued into 2010, but we were all pretty disappointed with what we got and ultimately shelved it. We ended up with some reasonable demos of “Concentric Circles” and “Never Get It Right.”

During this period I started realizing I was becoming more of a drummer than a guitarist, which was a pretty startling revelation. Bruce left Assrockers, and the band moved to a space that we didn’t ever fully get comfortable in, and really just stopped playing with any endgame. 2010 was notable for Borracho only for launching our website, and getting together with more old friends we had shared the stage with before in our other bands. We loved bringing The Brought Low to D.C., Scott [Fuse] from Cortez came down here with his other band Black Thai, and we met and played with the guys in El Grande, who have become our local brothers in rock.

Tell me how Borracho’s sound developed to the point of Splitting Sky. What inspires a song like “Concentric Circles” as opposed to “Grab The Reins?”

Most of what ended up becoming Splitting Sky was material we all collaborated on. Our writing process became pretty fluid—usually starting with a riff and a jam. Steve is a riff-aholic!! I’d say the earlier days when we were all getting more comfortable with our instruments, we were more structured. We’ve built a much more collaborative process in the last year or so, and our newer material came together pretty quickly just from jams during rehearsals. Splitting Sky has a mix of tunes—from those that were brought in by Steve or Noah and some that we really wrote all together. I think that really is the reason why you can hear some of the difference in influences.

We actually have a bunch of great songs that didn’t make it onto the record, more because they didn’t mesh with other songs the way the eight tracks from Splitting Sky just work together. We actually have quite a bit of faster material—tunes that didn’t make the record, but that don’t lack in quality, just space/time. We’re hoping to put these tunes to good use soon!

We definitely all are huge fans of all kinds of music, and the area of overlap in our tastes is pretty much squarely the sound you hear from us. That being said, I wouldn’t expect our next record to sound a lot like this one. We don’t feel any pressure to be limited in our approach, and so far the new material we’re working on has its own vibe and we won’t know what the next song will sound like till we jump into it. I think we all feel fortunate to be able to play music with the same guys for five and 10 years, and be able to sustain the chemistry we all have even after changing instruments. Our sound just comes from clicking as musicians and friends.

The D.C. scene has been strong going back decades at this point. Do you see Borracho fitting in with the D.C. or Maryland pedigree of bands at all?

This is a fitting, but funny question that could be answered in a bunch of different ways. First off, we’re humble guys. We play music because we love it. It’s a flattering prospect to be considered a part of some pedigree. But it feels different in D.C. than maybe it did in Baltimore and the area of MD most known for the doom scene. The past 10 years in D.C. proper hasn’t been very nice to heavy bands. We’ve felt almost alienated in this town at times. I think there’s something to be said about the bands you’re referring to—Pentagram, Spirit Caravan, Clutch, Sixty Watt Shaman, etc.—actually all being guys from Maryland. Part of that scene was that a lot of kids grew up together, they were mostly all friends. It kind of nurtured itself.

Borracho is a bit different by nature because we’re all from all over the place. It’s interesting that we met here—our only shared experience is here and it’s been that way for years so certainly there is a good amount of Maryland dirt cooked in. But we all take something from our respective scenes in Boston, New York, Colorado, the Midwest, and even London, where Steve spent some formative musical years. We don’t have these influences of what our direct peers, who we grew up with and played in a bunch of other bands with would have.

Any shows coming up, plans or closing words you want to mention?

We’ve got some shows in the works in September and October, including a CD release show. We’ll be announcing each of them as they are confirmed, but we should have some shows in the D.C./Baltimore area, a trip up to the Northeast, and a trip down South. The vinyl release of Splitting Sky is scheduled for early-September on No Balls Records, and we’ll be selling them at shows, on our site, and through No Balls directly. We also have another announcement that we’ll be making soon about another vinyl release. You’ll have to wait for that one.

Lastly, thanks to everyone in the scene for all of the support, and for making this one of the best underground scenes for bands and fans. We look forward to delivering quality music long into the future, meeting a lot of great people—fans and bands—and continuing to nurture this scene with all of you!


Borracho’s Splitting Sky is available now from the band’s Bandcamp page at borracho.bandcamp.com. - The Aquarian


Calling Borracho's debut Splitting Sky 'heavy' is like saying Heddbuzz 'enjoys' stoner rock. It's a severe understatement. This album is an epic, earsplitting fuzz-fest and it's certainly in my top 5 releases of 2011 so far. It might even be my #1. We'll see.

'You can't go wrong with Borracho. One of my favorite new bands,' I told Racer when he asked what I thought of the D.C. rockers. Of course he already knew I was a fan and probably had the album, too. He was right. I didn't tell him but honestly, I was as excited as a puppy during playtime when I learned I could give my opinion of Splitting Sky in writing. I think I peed just a little bit.

Borracho and Splitting Sky are looming large above the current landscape and distant horizon of stoner rock, in my opinion. Others may want to seek shelter. Torrents of powerful vocals and illustrious lyrics pour down while thick bluesy riffs, waves of booming bass and thunderous drums merge to form a massive musical supercell. Get the picture? Splitting Sky is a friggin' F-5, people. It's an 8-song rock typhoon that will flood your senses and knock you on your ass.

Think I'm not dead serious? Never take a storm warning lightly.

The first 2 are the only tracks under 6 minutes. "Redemption" literally startles me in a millisecond, as a thunderclap would, it's so loud. This rock instrumental (1:36) is a sign of the devastation to come. It's not gonna let up and it'll be one hell of a ride. "Concentric Circles" arrives with a bang, too, with a great beat and rhythm. 'One shot it's over....' Ya damn right. It was for me. A jaw-dropping moment, like seeing a tornado in person for the first time.

Borracho have exactly the guitar sound I love. Dead-on. Hell yeah.

"Bloosucker" has the wah and the crunch, with a great groove. Amazing solos. A thick bass line and a rattle greet you in "Grab the Reins". This song's over 11 minutes long. Blues rock and doom-laden sound to much of it, i think. "All In Play" (8:23) starts with one of my favorite riffs on the album and has some great lyrics too.

"Never Get It Right" reminds me of an old 'Chains song in the beginning. I'm thinking this is gonna be the eye of the hurricane that is Splitting Sky. When things are gonna calm down for a while and I can catch my breath and survey the damage. But I can only rest for a few minutes. A commanding riff march tells me there's much more wreckage to come.

"Grinder" just chews you up and spits you out. Super fuzzy southern guitars here that makes me move. Memorable chorus. Jeez this band is awesome. I'm almost at a loss for words.

"Plunge/Return" is saved for last on Splitting Sky. Could be my first pick though. It's more of the same musically but there's just something about it to me. Plus it's the longest (11:36) so there's more for me to enjoy.


Borracho are here to stay and they're firmly planted in my forecast for stoner rock. I can't wait til the skies darken and another crushing release rolls in from the east.
- The Ripple Effect


Discography

Rectify/Stag Party - Split 7" single with Adam West released on No Balls Records, 2008.
Splitting Sky - debut CD released on The Livingroom Records, June 2001
Splitting Sky - Vinyl LP released on No Balls Records, September 2011
Circulos Concentricos - 7" single released on Fandango Records (USA) and Ghost Highway Recordings (Spain), October 2011

Photos

Bio

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.

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 57 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 was released on the band’s own Livingroom Records imprint, 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. No Balls Records released a super-limited edition run of 200 copies of the LP on clear/blue swirl vinyl with hand screened original artwork in September 2011.

In October 2011 "Circulos Concentricos" -- the Spanish version of album track "Concentric Circles" -- was released as a 7? single on Fandango Records (USA) and Ghost Highway Recordings (Spain) and the band hopes to continue to reach out into the Spanish and Latin American communities with future efforts.