Sunday, August 30, 2015

Walle - ¿Qué obo? Darcowboy [2013]

Walle is an inspiring, baffling and emotional combination of various sounds both foreign and familiar that come together in impressive harmony, pulling from a plethora of musical stylings to realize a complex musical representation of the disorder, depression, banality, joy, spontaneity and absurdity of everyday life. Their ability to combine angular riffs, mathy rhythms and dischordant progressions with catchy lines, heavy jams and uplifting crescendos is not something I've heard much of before Walle.

One time when I was under the influence of something I said Walle is like running through a thick forest downhill, winding your way through the various life forms that all speak to you in different tongues as you pass until upon reaching the bottom you collapse and melt into the soil and become reincarnated as a mountain peak. Maybe its just the DL4, weird wailing vocals and explosive drumming but sometimes it just feels like the soundtrack to a hypnotic curse.

Somehow Walle has passed under everyone's noses for years and much of the world remains ignorant to their very progressive and surprisingly relatable soundscapes. They have toured parts of the US and Mexico a few times (they just finished a 4-week US tour) and last year headed down to South America to play in Perú, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.

I imagine they'll continue to grow faster as they gain popularity, but perhaps their approach is far too free from typical rock structure and doesn't fit tidily into a certain genre or scene for folks that aren't already looking for this kind of music to begin with.

Anyway, ¿Qué obo? Darcowboy is their first LP and though it was released digitally in 2013, the official vinyl release didn't become available until some months ago, so now's your chance to pick up a record!
To buy the vinyl in the US, contact Dream Diver (website) or Ethospine Noise.
To buy the vinyl in México, contact Walle (facebook).

I realize I should have posted about them before their US tour so folks would go see them, so I'm sorry for that but I'm sure they'll be back soon. They play in SoCal from time to time or if you live nearby you can always hop into Tijuana for an evening when they play there.

Here's a cool review from the dudes in Zeta (from Venezuela/Colombia), who shared a number of tour dates with them in the US just a few weeks ago: Una de las más interesantes propuestas que tiene américa latina

Genres: old Screamo, Math Rock, Bolero, Punk, Post Rock, Classical, Shoegaze 

1.México 2 - Brasil 1
2. Yo Soy la causa
3. Ya no late, ya no oscila
4. Olvídalo, así comienza todo
5. ¿Qué obo? Darcowboy
6. Noise it up!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Annapura - ANNAPURA II [2015]

I think if I were to pick out one album that really properly translates my emotional perception of México, D.F., it would be this one. Nothing like a driving punk record to represent a noisy and chaotic metropolitan hub. Amongst the aggression and abrasiveness of their genre, the clarity of Annapura's second release is what really pushes it above the surface in a sea of similar hardcore that flourishes in one of the world's densest and largest cities. I'm not just talking about the great recording quality - the precise drumming and the audible vocals (I'm a big fan of being able to hear lyrics) make me really want to jam this in my room while I throw punches at the air with my eyes closed as I sing along.

The album is short and to the point as any hardcore punk record should be and properly leaves the listener craving 10 more minutes of driving riffs. This isn't a record to put on in the background. As soon as you put it on it demands you listen close - ya estoy ocupando tu tiempo/ con esto he logrado llegar a tu cerebro // I'm taking up your time/ This is how I've managed to get to your brain. I definitely urge you to take a moment and absorb this piece of music with your undivided attention (it's only like 9 minutes okay?). I don't even like this genre of punk and well, this record rips.

Genres: Punk, Hardcore, D-Beat, Fastcore, Powerviolence

1. Campeón
2. Miente
3. No Pasarán
4. Insulto
5. Dieciseis
6. B.R.
7. RIP

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Temporada de tormentas - Del ruido y el espacio [2014]

Wow, so according to my music library I've been listening to this band since September but I definitely only rediscovered them until a few days ago. As I was cleaning out space on my ipod for new music I came across them and gave their most recent album a listen. I was unimpressed at first, the opening of the second song mostly just sounds like just another post-rocky emo band and I was just waiting for some trite screaming or at least some strained passionate yells. I was pleasantly surprised though when the vocals came through a bit more indie/pop or something of that nature (have you figured out yet that I'm not very genre-literate?). The vocals kinda push the music into a genre I haven't been exposed to much in Latin America, so hopefully by following these folks I can find some similar material. I wish I had gotten to see this band while I was living in Buenos Aires, but it just wasn't the scene I was most in touch with. They're from Haedo, which is a suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Okay, so maybe their music isn't totally bizarre or fascinating or makes you ask a hundred questions (for that, see Insumisión), but their stuff is beautifully crafted, really nicely performed and well recorded, which quite frankly pushes them above most of the Argentinian bands I found during my short stay. My favorite is "El heroe de la plaza." Check out their work on their bandcamp (linked below) and a really nice video of them playing two songs off this record that I can't embed.

Genres: Rock, Indie, Punk, Post Rock

1. Dolores Prats
2. Aterrizaje
3. Base secreta en moron sur
4. El heroe de la plaza

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Joliette - Principia [2013]

Post-hardcore is not lacking at all in Mexico, but a few bands rise to the surface amongst the sea of breakdowns, and one of those is Joliette. They hail from the city of Puebla, which to me is especially annoying because I lived in Puebla for 5 months and didn't even hear of them until I left. Fortunately they seem to have some connections with the various scenes in the US so maybe they'll get the chance to tour the west coast and I'll finally see them play. It's always exciting to see bands from different countries (with different languages) crossing borders (they're currently on tour in Mexico with Chicago band Ittō!).

Joliette is a band that I'm really into but secretly don't really want to be. I think it might just have to do with their genre, given it's popularity and the inundation of similar sounding bands that really need to stop using the same hooks and oversimplified riffs in a cookie-cutter structure. Joliette, however, is different. Their experience as musicians and talent is apparent in every moment and it's exciting to watch them play (I've never seen them live, but they have some cool videos they did with Audiotree the last time they were in the US, see below).

Genre: Post-hardcore, Post-everything

1. Todos Temen
2. Todos Odian
3. Quiral
4. Martina, Merlina y Dale con Martín
5. Say Hola!
6. Czirros
7. Qúmulos
8. California Yisus
9. Juan Matón
10. Norte y Bravo
11. Die Stunde des Käses

Ostende - Ciudades de Mimbre [2011]

Ostende is an emo-violence band from Buenos Aires, Argentina that takes influence from bands like Orchid and Ampere. There's a small, tight-knit group of folks playing screamo in Buenos Aires that make/made up bands such as Federico Luppi, Arde Hollywood, Bahía and Beatrice Kaleth. This is one of the more established long-term bands of the group, though they've gone through a few lineup changes they keep pushing forward and playing the good stuff. It's pretty shreiky and a little rough around the edges, but it'll hook you good.

Genres: Emo-violence, Screamo

1. Ser Conciente No Te Hace Inocente
2. Seguimos Siendo Ciegos
3. Sie Esta En Tus Brazos, No Lo Creo
4. Malformaciones De Una Reelección
5. Cuantos Chicos, Tantos Chicos...
6. Los Convencidos Caminamos Por La Vereda De Enfrente
7. Palabras, Palabritas (A Los Conservadores)
8. La Gran Pregunta Es Una Respuesta (Tomo I)
9. Greg Ginn Vs Tommy Dunster
10. Un Rio Menos
11. La Suma Es La Resta De La Conciencia

Also, the background of this blog is a photo I took of Ostende playing in Buenos Aires :^)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Zat/Avitación 101 Split [2011]

Bazinga, I'm back in the U.S. and for real this time I'm gonna be posting consistently again. This one's a twofer I guess, it's a split between two radical Latin American screamo bands that's sure to rock yer socks off.

Avitación 101 is from Uruguay (I assume Montevideo but I haven't found anything that actually says) and define themselves on their facebook as neoscreamocrust, which is definitely accurate as heck. Bass heavy, driving and riffy is how I'd describe it. The first riff of every song is always so damn catchy. The vocals stand out quite a bit, they seem to have a nice mix of sass, screamo and hardcore influence. It's one of my biggest regrets that I didn't go see this band when they played in Buenos Aires while I was there.

Genres: Screamo, Crust, Hardcore

Zat is from Buenos Aires, Argentina and plays a sort of punk/screamo. The guitars are a bit angular and can even get reminiscent of Fugazi in their discordance and the way they play off each other. For the most part they walk with a sort of dark, catchy melody that can be a little off-putting or make you ask where they were going with it, and it's like chunky and doesn't necesarily make sense and it comes off pretty well actually. Like, pretty stripped down, but not 3 chord punk but somewhat reminscent of it.

Genres: Punk, Screamo, Post-hardcore

1. Levanta tus palmas y sacude tus balas
2. Sabor a Troya
3. Bosques
4. Arma calibrada
5. Charlas, descontentos, universos
6. Tribunales
7. Camino al juzgado
8. Estallido

Avitación 101
9. Intro 
10. Iglesias
11. Oxido
12. Pesadilla
13. Tengo miedo
14. Trazada

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Walle - Vómito de Notas [2010]

I don't know why it took me so long to make a post on Walle. Maybe because Walle was the first Mexican band I ever really got into, and since then they have just been ubiquitous in my headspace and I go wrongfully assuming everybody knows about them. This is basically the worst logic ever because Walle is probably the most underrated band I've heard or seen in my life, and if there's any band that seriously needs to be paid attention to it's this one. These folks are from Tijuana, México.

In terms of bands seeking to push genres into something much more unusual or unheard previously, Walle is at the forefront. They have strong roots in punk and emo (members of Maladie, Satie and Growing Pains - all bands I will eventually post on and that you should check out), but with this project head much more into the math, shoegaze and 'experimental' realms. They have a really attractive interest in creating catchy riffs and then tearing them apart or ending them abruptly, or entering an environment that I might call psychedelic but is perhaps even more accurate to the strange emptiness and alien feeling one might experience while on drugs than the more commonly known music under the same name (the best part about this is they're straight edge).

If there's anything Walle captures really well it's the feelings of joy, humor and gratefulness that somehow sprout from an underlying pervasive sense of anxiety, loneliness and desperation. Vómito de Notas is like a giant mood swing, or a metaphor for an existential crisis. It's the moment when you realized everything sucks but life is still sick because we have each other. I recommend you listen to Mexico 2 - Francia 0.

One of the funny things of the album they like to quote other people and works, which actually works out quite well. I never thought dialogue from Tarkovsky's Stalker or quotations from the bible would sound so good next to experimental punk. Ok, maybe I did. Bukowski is basically ubiquitous if you like anything emo-related. The point is, delve into the lyrics on their bandcamp (if you read spanish), you won't be disappointed.

Genres: Punk, Math Rock, Experimental, Post Rock, Shoegaze

1. Apocalipsis 6 - 15 (pm)
2. Tortis
3. México 2 - Francia 0
4. Utopía
5. Mientras Más Conozco A La Gente Más Quiero A Mi Perro
6. Stalker
7. The Worst And The Best