No Thanks

Arrotzak Lurzoru Hotzetik LP

A beautiful and dreary sounding punk trio from San Sebastián. It’s the rhythmic insistence of the ESTRANGED and grand choruses of LA URSS rolled into one. There’s no shortage of contemporary “dark punk,” and while my tendency is to move on, hearing bands like ARROTZAK keeps my dismissal in check. They write really great songs with depth but that move quickly…you know, like a punk band, not a punk band trying to sound like a goth band. Lyrics are in Spanish and Basque and translated into English, and while full of despair they convey self-reflection and ultimately hope, rather than defeat or other superficial “dark” themes. It’s a really fine release, and I can sense the passion poured into it. I shared a stage with them last spring in Zarautz and they were both a great live band and genuinely friendly and welcoming guys—true punx.

Satélite Otra Era LP

SATÉLITE is a Spanish band with a dark, melodic, and beautiful post-punk sound. Otra Era was released in February but it missed my radar. The album’s second song “Estado Hipnótico” condenses the themes and sounds of the whole LP: prominent bass lines, chorus pedal guitar, gorgeous melodies, and vigorous drumming with lyrics that paint paranoiac landscapes of capitalist desperation and the urge of getting the hell out it, into a new era, with new ways of living. There’s a sense in all of these songs of trying to escape the new systems of control. Some of my favorites are the pretty “Otra Era” and the disquieting “Nuevas Maneras.” If you’re into Spanish post-punk bands like DÉCIMA VÍCTIMA, or early CURE, this is for you. You can get it both digitally or on vinyl. Really cool cover design, too.