Thursday, 7 March 2013

Barbara & Los Rotos Del Rock - ST EP (album review)

There are a great many small pockets and territorial havens of terrific fuzz / stoner rock in the world today and the country of Chile is among the best.  Don't believe me?  Just check out this Chilean Fuzz compilation and notice the fifth track.  It's the song that opens this EP, a two minute twenty second plunge into a volcano of fuzz with a snarling attitude and swagger that comes across no matter what language you speak.  Listening to this EP is like watching a guy being lured into a back alley by a girl and instead of being ambushed by her male counterparts, she does him in herself while the guys all watch and laugh and provide musical accompaniment.  Disturbing?  Perhaps, but oh so entertaining.

Frontwoman Barbara González runs amok carving out a strong identity that leaves a bitter taste and makes a lasting impression.  Not bad for twenty minutes' work.  The lyrics are all sung in Spanish but it doesn't take much more than a cursory understanding of the language to get the message.  Her lyrical themes and general attitude often involve humiliating men (see album cover) and breaking hearts, see "Masticaré Tu Corazon" ("Chew Your Heart") for evidence of this.

Her forceful persona shines through immediately on opening track "Tu No Sabes Quién Soy" and doesn't let up.  Her confident style is the perfect accompaniment to the band's short compositions, keeping things moving at a fast pace.  The band behind her pour with sweat, fuzz and heaviness, even they have a hard time keeping up with this hellcat.  A punk aesthetic mixes well with the fuzz bass to create some surf rock like moments, such as in "Pobres Almas En Desgracia" ("Poor Unfortunate Souls").  The fuzz bass gives this band the taste and consistency of molasses: sweet and thick.  Molasses can be as fast paced as this band too, given the right amounts poured over a man's head tied to a chair.

It's not until the latter part of the EP that the band veers slightly from their trademark sound established on the first handful of tracks.  The band has more than their fair share of fun on this EP, not only in the generally uptempo and upbeat feel of the compositions and in the madcap atmosphere of the performances but also in the handful of tracks on the back end of this EP.  Their cover of Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" ("Satisfaccion") is a fun romp and a study in the art of fuzz rock.  It also provides the first glimpse of a slightly different side to the band.  Short madhouse number "Le Petite Mort" takes it much further with its ukelele lead and maniacal background laughter.

The song that closes the album is perhaps the most daring and different composition of the entire affair.  "Mala Hierba" showcases a different style of more sultry vocals from Barbara and is delivered at a slower pace.  Being stylistically different from everything else on the disc, it's a good album closing number and leaves the possibility open for a sequel on the next release, but whenever that next release comes I'm sure that The Broken Rock will not forego their stock in trade which is fast-paced in your face fuzz rock played at high volume.

This EP is available for free download on bandcamp, just click the "download" button on the player below.

Highlights include: "Tu No Sabes Quién Soy" and "Masticaré Tu Corazon"

Rating: 4/5

Total Run Time: 20:14

Bárbara González - Vocals
Christian Spencer - Guitar
Cesar Garcés - Bass
Cristóbal Pacheco - Drums

From: Santiago, Chile

Genre: Stoner, Rock, Punk

Reminds me of: Bottlecap, Spiders

Release Date: February 13, 2012

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Being kidnapped at gunpoint by a gang of criminals and taken on a drug and booze fueled joyride in a stolen cop car.  Crazy!

Better Reviews:
Stoner Hive
Heavy Planet

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Check them out on the Chilean Fuzz comp.


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