Reviews

Discos Corrosivos

Balacera Gafas demo cassette

“I already saw how I’m gonna end, dead in a shootout against officers of the law and assault weapons, and if this is my time…well, fuck it!”  This is a rough translation of the movie sample (I guess) that Argentina’s BALACERA uses at the beginning of their demo, an ultra-fun lo-fi affair that mixes a TALES OF TERROR approach to punk, as in the opener “Gafas” and “Confundido,” and straight doom metal, as in the bass riff that slowly builds itself into a full on thrasher in “Busted” that, by the way, sounds like Argentina’s own minimalist art-punkers DIOS being more into VENOM than British post-punk. The tape manipulation of the voice and their eerie use of keyboards all adds up to an extremely original sound with the low production values of the demo. Awesome, get it on cassette.

Desborde Single 2021 cassette

Hard to describe how much territory DESORBE covers in just two tracks. Starting with a steady punk churn fronted by fierce high-end hardcore vocals, by the end of the first track it feels like you’re listening to an outtake from Panorama (the best record by the CARS)…and then the next cut launches shamelessly into a keyboard-driven hardcore freakout. After the first listen, I was confused. But the same two jammers are on the flip, and after the second listen…? I was in love.

Desborde Ya No Kiero Ser Parte De Este Mundo demo cassette

Buenos Aires band DESBORDE’s first release (although they put two of this tape’s seven songs on Bandcamp in March of this year, if you deem that to count) is being released by a ton of labels in different parts of the world, and I can only assume they all had much the same “woah!” reaction as I did on first hearing. It’s synth punk, but pretty far removed from the post-CONEHEADS/NWI scene egginess that seems to be the default style for that sound at present: it wouldn’t surprise me if none of DESBORDE’s five members owned any DEVO albums. Instead, it’s super catchy, mid-paced street punk-adjacent stuff with sing-along choruses (if you know Spanish) and groovy keyboard fizz—the juxtaposition is kinda similar to NACHTHEXEN, although DESBORDE is on closer terms with punk orthodoxy, sound-wise. Gotta imagine this band would be amazing to see live where most people in the room knew the songs back to front.

Emboscada Demo 2020 cassette

Gruesome vocals from Argentina reminiscent of BLAZING EYE, SODOM, ELECTROCUTIONER; things of a gruesome metallic punk nature. I love that the first song is “No!” and the last song is “Nada.” Otherwise, I’m picking up “my head” and “your house;” songs seething in melodic aggression. The construct feels derived from ’80s Latin American hardcore in its diminutive distortion, with some aspects of ’80s US hardcore in the more anthemic upbeats. This contrast, plus the vocals (some femme vocals), the production, and the various tones, all create a unique demo. Long enough to be interesting, short enough to be wanting more.

Peste Negra Orquest(a) Los Rebrotes cassette

Argentinian cassette domination continues with this bizarre dose of freak wave and/or synth punk from the PESTE NEGRA ORQUEST(A). Harnessing the primitive melodic punk of early ’80s Latin America and injecting healthy doses of space sounds, they create a vibe on Los Rebrotes that makes these ears yearn for (more) punk that makes you move instead of punks rehashing second-rate darkwave. By the time I got to the middle of this tape, I couldn’t even think straight—it’s that good…and no matter how I tried, I wasn’t able to make it loud enough. Because I just wanted more.

V.D.I. Idem cassette

Fast hardcore punk from Argentina. V.D.I has a very memorable quality to their songs, as if I have heard a number of them before but can’t quite pinpoint where. Most of the songs on this nine-song cassette are ripped through in the faster realm of mid-tempo speeds, tight stops and starts really accenting and keeping your attention. The only song that really breaks the mold that they’ve set is “Pogo Reliyon,” which is slower, catchier, and more sing-songy. I would have sworn it was a LOS EXPULSADOS cover were it not for the drastic speed-up ending of the song.