Muro

Reviews

Muro 12.07.19 Bogota cassette

If someone had played me this cassette without mentioning it was a live recording, I would have thought it was a proper studio recording. MURO is such a ferocious live band that they sound just like they do on their records. Recorded live in 2019 at the Festival Asfixia in Bogota, this flawless live set shows why MURO is on the top of the hardcore game worldwide. Relentless, raw, and energetic, they don’t skip a bit and deliver an assault of hardcore punk that puts many studio recordings to shame. If this wasn’t enough to entice you, every copy comes with a “Meat is War” mini-zine and all proceedings of this release will be used to aid those struggling against fascist violence in Colombia. So besides delivering it sonically, MURO also grasps the politics of punk, which is something missing in quite a few bands today, and they wave the flag of justice right in your face. MURO is a force to be reckoned with.

Muro / Orden Mundial Sonia de la Negación split LP

Splits are strange records. This one goes even beyond, as it is to honor the memory of ORDEN MUNDIAL’s bass player, who passed away, but also helped out and recorded with MURO during one of their EU tours. The greatest splits are more than just two groups’ recordings. Their contrast either evokes debates between those who are obsessed with always picking sides, or are an exhibition game of an outstanding pair. Sonida de la Negación is closer to the second because even though the two bands differ sound-wise, they rather overlap and complete than contradict each other. It’s hard to write about MURO when most of my information channels propagate them as the best band in today’s hardcore. Therefore I have to work around these proclamations, because I care about their music instead of their perception. They operate with an unimpeachable energy that mixes urgency of Latin American hardcore heritage and Burning Spirits epic anthemism. The later feature holds back my devotion towards them because it offers too much for my taste, and makes me realize how they are able to repeatedly build truly great records from generic elements. Still, they keep progressing, since what was good on Ataque Hardcore Punk has become great here. The drums carry most of their music; it is a solid base for the exceptional energy of the band that is luckily translate-able to records, too. I am glad they introduce parts where guitars break away from extended, strummed-out riffs to more abstract territories. There is no They Live situation regarding MURO—what the whole world loves is actually real. ORDEN MUNDIAL was always my dark horse from the wave of Spanish hardcore marked by UNA BESTIA INCONTROLABLE and BARCELONA. I liked how they reminded me of a fucked up, glue-huffed-to-pass-out version of the most confusing parts of primitive USHC such as SSD. Just take the second song from their side, a crazy mid-tempo stomper, drowned into distortion and echo, an almost no-wave-dancy mind-melter. Lead up by a headkicker opening track, so dense it entangles into itself. The mid-tempo pace continues within another number, that reminisces both exploring, desperate on drugs and dizzy by recently acquired new musical abilities, at the doorstep of later-era hardcore, which also feels as cut out and looped to a full track version of tension-builder bridge part. Still ORDEN MUNDIAL annexes all their influences that expand their sound. Yes, it will be up there with WRETCHED / INDIGESTI, COWARD / GASMASK or—fuck it—FAITH / VOID.

Muro Pacificar LP

Unsurprisingly, an amazing record. It seems like Bogota’s MURO has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue since their last LP from 2017, along with touring/live appearances to crowds of eager hardcore punks worldwide. Every aspect of Pacificar is appealing. Sound, layout, the printing of the sleeve, songwriting and its overall impact. “Fantasia del progresso,” “Clasismo domino…clasismo, estructural,” and “Mundo infesto” are some churuses that should provide lyrical context. I’m not going to do them a disservice by interpreting the meaning of their songs with my shitty understanding of Spanish. MURO sounds more unhinged this time around, like a not-sloppy WRETCHED. They play with different counts and timing in a way that adds intrigue and unique power. The approach is stripped down and direct thrashing punk, but there’s something epic going on. The angst is authentic and infectious. A rare band that lives up to the hype. I hope this virus succeeds at permanently debilitating the entire worldwide right-wing/fascist movements so we can contain it and start punk again and I can see MURO do their thing in the flesh. In the meantime, if you are a punk definitely buy this record.