Biznaga Gran Pantalla LP
This record starts off with a warm guitar hum that’s almost ethereal. Then the vocals come in softly with some reverb while the drums build quickly in the distance. It feels like I’m being transported to a far-off land of mystery and fantasy, and that’s just the song “Ventanas Emergentes” (“Pop-Up Windows”). The next track comes in hard with their singer’s gruff, powerful shouts that carry a strong melody. I can’t get over how fantastic the guitar layering is, though I think they only have one guitar player. As a whole, their songs are post-punk inspired, fuzzy, angry, and sung completely in Spanish as they are from Madrid. My Spanish isn’t strong enough to translate it all, but from the album title (Big Screen) and song titles like “2K20” and “Error 404,” it’s not hard to sort out that this record is about technology. From the tone of the songs and what I’ve been able to find online in interviews, Gran Pantalla covers the dystopian cyber-hellscape of today with so many people transfixed by their phones/tablets/smart TVs/etc. BIZNAGA’s music is dripping with passion and drive. I love the treatment of cymbals in their recording—just these far off splashes that still pound and shimmer over the guitar and bass. Songs are fast and so fucking energetic. Bands like this reaffirm my love for reviewing records because had MRR not assigned this one to me, I might have never been introduced to their beauty and power.