Perros Plaga Rechazo cassette

I had no idea what to expect going into this release. The cover’s aesthetic suggested something somber and self-serious—maybe metal, or worse, metalcore—and the cassette title, which translates to “rejection,” gave me a very late ’90s vibe, really increasing my concern that this was going to be metalcore. On the other hand, “Plague Dogs,” the English translation of their name, gives off more of a shit-kickin’, V-flickin’ street punk vibe. Turns out neither impression was accurate. Not exactly, at least. This trio from Zapopan (a large city on the edge of the even larger Guadalajara), plays something in between melodic hardcore and post-hardcore, and this ten-song cassette appears to be their official debut. The music isn’t a million miles away from early HOT WATER MUSIC or LEATHERFACE—you know, stuff that’s not quite hardcore, not quite pop punk, but definitely bobbing in the wake of DC’s Revolution Summer. These songs are lower-fi than either of those acts, giving the recording a punker sheen, and, while it would be a stretch to say this is street punk, you’re getting that same sort of energy from the tuneless gang vocal shout-alongs. It’s not bad, and it’s a pleasant enough listen. But, aside from a few head-scratching detours they take in the opening track—some weird ANIMAL COLLECTIVE coos and space rock guitar flourishes—there isn’t a whole lot here that really makes the release stand out.