30 jul. 2015

Reseña de "Nordeste" desde California

Reclaiming The Colonies, One State at a Time...

Music I like. Mainly by girls, mostly in French...

If the Marine Girls had started gigging in Aviles instead of Hatfield, Talulah Gosh  had hailed from Oviedo rather than Oxford or if the Shop Assistants had traded Edinburgh for Gijón, I suspect that they might have sounded in places just a little bit like this next band...

Los Bonsáis are Helena and Nel, from Gijón and Llanes respectively, in the Asturias region of Spain. Once again I have to thank Indie Wonderland for pointing me in the direction of the delightful mezcla of lo-fi, shoegazey, punky indie-pop wondrousness and F-U-N that is the pair's album "Nordeste".

"Nordeste" is an album that literally whizzes by - primarily because at just shy of 18 minutes, the 10 tracks don't hang around - perfect for the ADHD generation you might think, but the trick Los Bonsáis pull-off is that every song here is truly memorable and lingers long in the memory. And the proof in the pudding comes with the opening track "Los perdimos de vista" - a song which hits home with a swirling sixties Hammond organ, bouncy sing-along verses (with those language skills picked up during a couple of years in La Perla Tapatía once again put to use) and which once again finds me humming a song at the most inopportune moments!

There's a real throw-back to the melodic post-punk of the early eighties; "Vacaciones permanentes" is so reminiscent of bands such as Girls at Our Best! or The Chefs - Indeed, the boy-girl vocal pairing is reminiscent of Brighton's finest (or indeed the incredibly retro yet contemporary Cosines) - while there's a pedal-to-the-metal attitude with a vengeance to "Hidroavión" and its wave upon wave of fuzzed guitars that builds to a crescendo. However, it's the 59 seconds of "Plan B" that probably sums up this ethos. "...Do not forget anything: microphones, Pedals, my out of tune guitar..." It's all here - fuzzy guitars, 100 km/h percussion, irresistible hooks another totally hummable tune - a sub-minute lashing of manic fun.

That being said, there's much more to this album than bedroom or garageband guitar riffs. Keyboards make a welcome return on "Como si nada" and help create the most bubbly of melodies, adding  subtle softening of tone alongside faultless vocal harmonies. There are also some delightful 'you-and-me' Twee-pop inspired tunes (or arguably pre-Twee. You could make a strong case for the Marine Girls being a proto-Twee band); "Galbana", "Sobremesa" and "La espina" being cases in point. 

But arguably my two favourite tracks are "Después de todo..." and the album's closer and title track "Nordeste." Yes, both feature pounding percussion and heavily distorted, shoegazed guitars - but if you listen through these you pick-out Helena's divinely multi-tracked vocals, and on "Nordeste" the darker tones - there's the realisation that this pair can really craft an incredibly textural arrangement. For all the instantness on display here, the more I listen to this album, it is these last two that get the repeat treatment...

Released on renowned Spanish label Elefant (and thus the duo - by a stroke of coincidence - find themselves label-mates with The Catenary Wires or Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey from Talulah Gosh), "Nordeste" is a love-at-first sight (or sound) kind of an album. 


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