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More warm breeze than hurricane - 55%

DrWBreen, May 22nd, 2020
Written based on this version: 2003, CD, Días de Garage

When, out of nowhere, a random assortment of records falls into your lap, many of bands you've never heard about, you are bound to find some great stuff, and some, well, not so much. And this record falls into the latter category.

The record opens with someone surfing through radio stations, with snippets of multiple very recognizable songs by other bands. This, although confusing at first, hints at something else - the record is intended to represent what I assume to be a roadtrip, with a hidden protagonist switching through songs and radio stations. This might be an okay idea, but the narrative is pushed through by many intermissions which often have a minimal amount of music and either some background noise or some radio-host talking, which amounts to little of worth. Stuff like "Kim" and "Y ahora" could be cut out completely and would improve the album by a mile. As it stands, around 10% of the album's runtime is just this kind of gimmicky stuff - and what lies in the middle does not justify the pauses.

The music present on this record errs closer to the "rock" side of Stoner, though it does have some very metallic moments, like "Dormido al volante" or "Angel de las espinas". The influence present on this record ranges from Black Sabbath or Eyehategod to some more local stuff like Vox Dei and Sauron; but the music rarely lives up to it's influences. For instance, the two opening tracks (Disregarding the intro) I've found pretty weak and uninteresting. "Playa Tortuga" at the very least opens up with an interesting rock riff. Everything between that and "Pescando en la Marea" failed to interest me in the slightest, but tracks 8 and 9 again flare-up with potential before "Angel de las espinas" turns into a snorefest of dopey guitar effects killing all joy I found in that song. Then again, a boring cut which made my brain switch off from listening, until "Dormido al volante" kicked stuff back up with it's opening riff.

In fact, a lot of the songs just have a very odd, dissonant in a very poor sense, way of ending which often feels violent and janky, like if they actually didn't know how to properly end the song and just went for a lot of abrupt chaotic noise; which is not something that is necesarily bad, but here, it definitely is.

Production has a rough edge which is quite common in this sort of genre and I think it serves it well. The guitar has a very nice tone though it lacks the massive feeling other bands in the genre have achieved. Maybe the bass is a little bit to muddy in the mix, which is particularly odd as the band is actually a trio. Maybe it has to do with the CD beign a digital conversion from an analog recording, as the liner note warns unceremoniously; maybe it's just part of the whole fuzzy aesthetic choice. In a few calm passages, like in "Rasante", the bass is actually clear and nice, but when the guitar is at full swing you need to focus your attention to find it buried somewhere in the mix. The drumming exists. I struggle to say more about it. It works; but I cannot remember a single part that stood out - though that is true for a large part of the whole record.

I've left vocals for last for a reason. I've noticed that Claudio Filadoro is still the singer to this day (And seems to be the only original member remaining) and maybe he has improved over the years. Maybe the whole sound of the band has improved, seeing as how few bands manage to survive almost two decades. I currently don't know and don't care. Back in "Temporada de huracanes" anyways, Filadoro's singing leaves a lot to be desired. His general tone sounds immature and almost whiny. He actually reminds me of a lot of singers from national rock bands, but which do far less heavy stuff, and do so generally with a little bit more grace. He's not completely irredemeable mind you, but I dislike his vocals rather thoroughly in this record.

Then there's the last song, "Rasante". For a record with songs which are 4 minutes long (And often a good part of that time is spent just making noise) and multiple intermissions which last around a minute, it stands out that they chose to close the record with a 14 minute epic. Or it would stand out, if it actually was a 14 minute epic. "Rasante" is actually a 7 minute song, with a decent chunk of it having it's volume lowered significantly to have some movie chatter or radio show extract play on top of the music. I understand it is an stylistical choice, but I've found that not only were the voices not easy to hear, the music wasn't either! What you get before is a more acid rock-infused song which is actually quite decent and would be a stand out if not for the fact that, halfway through the track, the song ends. Then 3 minutes of silence follow. Then a different "song" starts, which sounds more like the kind of acoustic rock our country has been very prolific on producing, and is actually quite decent. Then that song ends; then there's about an additional minute of silence before the last 40 seconds which are a more hazy, synth passage, which while short and underdeveloped, is also not bad. Perhaps if they had chosen to cut down on the radio station gimmick and actually be willing to try out to infuse these genres of music with the rest of the album we would be looking at far better endeavour.

Perhaps, if one day, my friends succeed in convincing me to do weed or other hallucinogenics I will come back to this record and see it there's anything my sober mind is missing; but as it stands what I hear before me is not good. It's not bad, and has certainly some good moments intersparsed with some mediocrity. However, the pointless little narrative beats just feel bloated and make me feel if a lot of the meandering was cut down, we would end up with barely more than an EP.

You know, like when in school you were supposed to turn in an essay, and you decide to unnecesarily, pointlessly, and aggravatingly, overextend your sentences and phrases in order to inordinately increase your word count as to more comfortably reach your hypothetical imperative? Just like this mini-paragraph I've put so needlessly before you? Yeah, that's how a hearty chunk of this record feels. Just because of this I cannot give this record a passing grade. I can see the potential for decency, dilluted with a whole bunch of worthless noise. I wanted to give this record a better grade, but I cannot bring myself to do so.

- "Playa Tortuga"
- "Pescando en la marea"
- "Dormido al volante"
-"Rasante" (If you can stand the numbing silence in-between.)