The amount of quality albums streaming out of Madrid these days has been impressive, from Biznaga’s pop thrash to the ramshackle indie of The Parrots and Hinds, the city seems to have a nerve of indie and punk thriving within its walls. Add to that roster, Rata Negra, who fall closer to Biznaga’s frantic energy than the slop-pop of the other two. Oído Absoluto, out on London’s La Vida Es Un Mus Discos, is a Spanish language, full throttle affair that reminds me rather fondly of Monterrey punks XYX. In the same vein, the band straddles a line between chunky punk power chords and a bit more nimble brand of post-punk that hints at something more than straight bashers in the band’s veins. Though, admittedly they lean much heavier on the former and they seem to have a damn good time doing so.
It’s hard to fault them, the sneers can practically be felt seeping through the speakers on this one, flashed with abandon and backed up perfectly by the eight-cylinder chug of the music pushing below. Singer Violeta has her pipes wrapped in an urgency that soaks the entire record, making each track seem more vital than the last. Behind her, the rest of the band knocks around the kind of early ’90s skate punk that feels like they’ve got the California wind at their backs. Surely the band grew up with a stack of heroes that stretched along the Cali Coast, but despite the shirtsleeve deep influences, the band makes the most of the sound and digs deep with their own stamp, sounding like the heirs to the skate punk crown in their own right.
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