Güiña ¿Qué Justicia? EP

Punk works best when it’s an overwhelming form of self-expression that feels like a sonic explosion even if it’s a tamed, slightly melodic sound at a moderate tempo. It happens on a razor-thin territory when it has to remain true to the core although it needs to lean beyond a bit to become unique and interesting. How ¿Qué Justicia? starts reminds me of the ’90s, when the sound of hardcore/punk got tamed as it entered a dead-end street of better sound quality and melodies. The main motive of the opening track is a silly, hum-like note that is too rounded to scratch, therefore the overwhelming effect of the song is missed. Meanwhile, everything is in place: angry vocals, dead simple song structures, and a good elan. The B-side of this short EP works much better. The tempo turns up and the music becomes more clumsy. The unpolished rage leaks into those songs more effectively, and then it sounds as if they want to perform their angst instead of songs. The interesting contrast is that the B-side demonstrates perfectly what is missing from the A-side, which makes the record itself exciting. Even if punk sounds super visceral, from messing around on your guitar to releasing records, a band has to make dozens of decisions and contemplating these decisions could be as entertaining as shaking your fist at a dirty venue. The reason behind the contrast of this record keeps my thoughts busy. It is convincingly suggested that GÜIÑA has a point to make through their music. Maybe this is why some of the songs have the sloppiness of pogo punk, because the focus is elsewhere. Such records completely lack the ambition to be something big within the global hardcore scene, while simultaneously carrying the ambition of destroying the existing world order. It’s a double “fuck you” that deserves recognition. I will not blast this 7” whenever I can, but the core idea of our beloved subculture is to have many more bands like GÜIÑA. The artwork looks great, and the 7” comes with an equally beautiful insert and lyric sheet.

Güiña Atake Psicotronico demo cassette

Demo release from this Spanish-language DIY punk band. I couldn’t find much in the way of a bio, but I did read that this is a product of communal squat living, and it shows in the lived-in confidence of the recording. The one-mic-in-an-empty-room production gives the songs an intimacy and immediacy that works really well on songs like opener “Atake Psciotronico.” Messy indie guitar lines not far removed from peak GUIDED BY VOICES lead into fast and frantic punk vocals, sounding like a mix of heart-tugging REPLACEMENTS minor chords with classic hardcore. I kept trying to place what it sounds like, and it’s “Made to Be Broken” by POISON IDEA. It’s so good. Second track “Nada Con El Estado” continues the perfect blend of tinny indie-punk with a great call-and-response chorus. I was so stoked to hear the rest, but the remaining songs unfortunately are unremarkable power-chord hardcore. Not bad, but not as hooky and interesting as the tape’s beginning. Click on over to GÜIÑA’s Bandcamp for that first track—maybe one amazing song is all you need?