Friday, 11 September 2009

Los Alamos

The fine art of Vengeance aka El Fino Arte de la Venganza (2008, thru Cuatrero Records) is the title of Los Alamos’ latest album and in many other ways a whole declaration on its own.
After recording No se menciona la soga en casa del ahorcado (2005, also thru Cuatrero Records) and a cover EP Emboscada (2006, thru ¡Maldita Sea!) this Argentinean band has done it again. Or maybe we should say this “international” band, since one of them, Jonah (voice, mandolin and harmonica), is North American and Peter (one of the lead singers and acoustic guitar player) currently lives in France; no minor detail if we take in account all influences and inspirations travelling gives you.
The album was produced and edited in their usual recording studio Quark, in Argentina. It was all done by the band themselves, who are self-taught in those matters. It was later mixed by Don C. Tyler at his studio, Precision Mastering, in Los Angeles (USA) where David Lynch's movies Mulholland Drive and Heat and Heraserhead where also mixed.
This record holds the key to the equilibrium in music and it’s so far, one of the best this ears of mine had the pleasure of listening to this year.
It accomplishes something that, not knowing if it was the band’s wish or not, is very clear: the creation of a visual piece.
As we listen to the 13 songs we get inside a certain movement, like being on an old train wondering the ways of the world. Many faces appear as we stop from station to station, from song to song; and as those faces and moments go by they complete us little by little.
That imaginative train ride thru the songs not only gives us visual images of different people, moments, feelings, but it also appears as if that train would master the echoes of time, taking us back and forward thru it.
One thing is for sure, there’s movement, and when there’s movement there’s life. And that’s one thing to say about the songs, they’re all very much alive.
So where’s the vengeance one would think? What is it after all?
Vengeance is passion; whether it’s a good thing or not. It’s having felt, having being hurt, being human. And passion is exactly what’s in every song, every piece of music is played from the soul, delivered completely without any veil between the ones playing it and the ones listening to it.
And it’s that balance between being worn and new that makes Los Alamos’ latest album the best by the band so far, it’s in those melodic blues/folk tones that we clearly feel the combustion of a band that take it all in and give even more.
It’s hard to find a band that can take over a stage completely. You have 6 guys playing 8 different instruments singing in spanish/english and making you feel that there’s absolutely no difference, music unites everything.
And though you can hear the echoes of Robert Johnson, The Band, The Grateful Dead and even Bob Dylan; Los Alamos have mastered the fine art of originality in the only way it can be mastered, by putting your guts on a silver plate and serving it to music.

Los Alamos on MySpace

Rank: Say Hello to the Angels

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