Cintas Pepe

Morbo ¿A Quién Le Echamos La Culpa? LP

Twelve tracks of spirited and garage-y mid-paced punking from these Peruvian veterans. Following in the footsteps of legendary ’60s Peru rockers LOS SAICOS, MORBO has been playing their own unique brand of primal and direct music for over twenty years. The songs here encompass a range of different styles, with a lot of first- and second-wave flavor and some interesting surprises along the way. From the nihilistic dirge of “Poema de un Libro Escolar,” to the Spaghetti Western cowpunk vibes of “El Loco,” and even a weirdo synth track at the end, it’s a fun ride. Whenever I hear the great opening track “Aquí No Hay Nadie,” I can’t help but imagine that it’s being played by a band of angry, Spanish-speaking rat Muppets, but that probably says more about me than it does the record.

Ojo Por Ojo Leprosario LP

“This sounds like a lot of other albums I’ve heard” is my default phrase of criticism, but in the instance of  OJO POR OJO’s release Leprosario, I mean it as the highest form of praise. Listing all the amazing inspirations OJO POR OJO certainly draws upon would take an entire page, and rather than just mimic other bands, they instead opt to carve a trench of their own, using a barrage of extreme music elements as their digging machine. This is one of those albums you can put on for your punk friends and your metal friends, and every subgenre and derivation of, and they’ll all ask, “Who is this?” There aren’t a lot of sounds coming from metal that really make my head turn these days, but OJO POR OJO gives me whiplash. Mixing elements of hardcore punk, crossover, and metal seamlessly so that you’ll never see what’s coming around the bend, OJO POR OJO continually gifts the listener with suprises and unique transitions. “Pisadas” opens this LP with a sludge-laden snarl that chugs along until suddenly a guitar begins picking a fast riff and this album switches into overdrive. “Borracho de Gasolina,” the next song, is a thrash fest ready for circle pits. Essentially, this album is a ten-song stampede in which OJO POR OJO demonstrates just how musically skilled they are. When you peruse the liner notes and realize this is a three-piece unit, and that the lead singer and guitar player are the same person, you’ll wonder how OJO POR OJO is capable of such immense power and precision. “Mausoleos de Metal” is a standout song; powerful, thrashing drums, soaring guitars, voracious vocals, everything OJO POR OJO is capable of, poured into a single glass, and served straight-up.

Silicosis Bocetos LP

Silicosis is a pulmonary fibrosis of the lung that is caused by breathing in silica dust during the mining process. SILICOSIS is also a dark punk band from the mining town of Lota in southern Chile, and Bocetos is their latest release. This LP is rich with anguish and grief from every angle. Atmospheric synths mix with sorrowful guitars while the rhythm section maintains the plodding pace of a funeral procession. Deep, rich vocals sing lyrics about the meaninglessness of life, depression, and other nocturnal emotions. The title track “Bocetos” is a driving, gothic anthem that builds in intensity and is absolutely beautiful in its agony-ridden delivery. It’s one of those songs that gives you goosebumps, draws tears to your eyes, but also keeps you stepping to the beat. In all, this album draws more from music of the Southwestern Hemisphere than from traditional goth and deathrock sources, and ends up being absolutely unique and incredibly hypnotic. This is for sure one of those albums that I can keep on my turntable for an extended amount of time.