Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sativa LuvBox - Beloved Satellite

Pat Mata was among the first musicians that I met in LA and, in fact, my often-forgotten first show in Hollywood (due to it being a one-off project and I was simply the guitarist) was at the Cathay de Grande opening for the original incarnation of Kommunity FK. We've been in and out of touch since then, but I followed his career and saw this 90's project a few times and enjoyed his new take on melodic/goth/ psych/rock'n'roll. Funnily, just after I pulled this CD out again for the first time in ages, Pat found me on Facebook. It has taken me far too long to write about this.

This trio was dedicated to Pat's girlfriend at the time, who went by the name of Sativa, so, yes, the band was named after her...well, you know... In any case, Mata always had a wonderful voice - dulcet and often soaring, and had a gift for melody, as is evidenced in the rockin' "Warm Inside". His guitar work tends to take a back seat to his vocals, but he is creative and biting here, with just the proper use of effects to add to the song and not overpower it. Heavy bass, cool guitar riffs and wailin' harmonica highlight the sing-along "U Got It All Wrong", hypnotic psych (similar to what Sundial would later do) permeates "See Me in the Sky", "Shock Shop" has a similar feel, the title track is a fuzz-guitar-led semi-ballad, while "Let's Be Forever" is a full-fledged power ballad, in the best sense of the word, with Pat's passionate, soaring voice leading the way on a song that, in a fair world, would have been a massive hit.

Heavy guitar and punk-rock speed are back for the lascivious "Orgy Inna Bed of Flowers" and the powerful "Pagan Son", while "Acid City" is simply a sound effect track, "Ooze" is aptly psychedelic while still energetic, riff-laden and memorably repetitive, "Wet With Power" has a hard-rock/dance beat with fierce guitars and they close out with a convincing cover of Syd Barrett's "No Good Trying".

This combo was definitely more psych than goth, but there are still elements of that, along with everything else that makes Pat tick, in here. This was a really strong release by an enduring artist that is still vibrant today. Worth searching out!