Algara

Reviews

Algara Absortos en el Tedio Eterno LP

I really half-assed one thing in my glowing review of Barcelona’s ALGARA’s previous EP. I didn’t bother to track down the actual quote I paraphrased which came from Emma Goldman—globally famous anarchist thinker and writer. The full quote was, “If I can’t dance…I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” It’s okay though, because the quote is even more apt for the band’s debut full-length, which takes anarchist theory and supercharges it for a generation that wants to shake their hips as capitalist society burns to ashes. This quartet does quite a few things really well, namely in terms of messaging and aesthetics, wherein each track feels like a bulletin from the HQ of a guerilla fighting force. More so than that, the group writes goddamn terrific songs that span a wide range of genres and tones. From impassioned drum machine coldwave stompers to agile shredders from the garage, this band is clearly well-read politically and musically. Even re-recorded material such as standout anthem “Expulsados” has only gotten harder and more ferocious. The results are AOTY-grade stuff and is the most perfect iteration of their vision to date. An actual shape of punk to come (one sincerely hopes).

Algara Enamorados Del Control Total EP

There’s something about the cold, distant, echoing vocals, the primitive, synthetic drums, and catchy guitar lines that combine to make this a striking debut. It doesn’t sound like garden variety post-punk and I’m at a loss to think of a band that sounds like this. Take a song like “Potestad Para Hablar”—these are going to sound like bonkers comparisons but hear me out —it combines the cold, antiseptic distance of FELT with the catchy new wave guitar of the B-52’S and it totally works! Speaking of idiosyncratic combinations, the cover features a mix of militant posturing, an autobiography of Catalan anarcho-syndicalist Juan García Oliver, analog photography equipment, and what looks like a flamenco record. Maybe it’s this mix of the raw and cold with the colorful and alive that makes their particular sound click. Anarcho-punk you can dance to, with a drum machine that sometimes sounds like a taser. These tunes were re-recorded with a live band on a subsequent cassette and I can’t tell which I like better so dig them both.

Algara Una Cosa Más Sin Sentido Alguno Usada Para Hacer Rico Al Mismo de Siempre cassette

Barcelona’s leftist post-punks ALGARA expand their sound and personnel on this cassette. The band re-recorded their debut EP for the front half, using a full band to augment their initial cold, drum machine-based sound. The flip side consists of four cuts from their upcoming full-length. The material that hits hardest here is the first four tracks, which completely rebuilds the original songs from the ground up into something resembling the original WARSAW EP set to a vibrant garagey bop. Tight polyrhythmic drums lay the bedrock for moon-roving bass lines and piercing saturated guitar, all while leaving ample space for the protest crier vocals. This is a revolution you can dance to, which is often the only kind worth fighting. The second half of the tape splits the difference between this updated approach and the group’s original more stark and synthetic sound. The duality works, but the traditional rock instrumentation is more fun. This is overtly political, anti-establishment punk you can bounce to—but politics ain’t always fun and games! The cassette is sold out via the label (update—now back in stock), but you can buy digital and as of this writing the band has physical copies to buy directly.