’Twas two weeks and alter earlier than Christmas, 2018, after I went to see Madder Mortem. The venue turned out to be a kind of backrooms behind a restaurant, the sort commonly rented for household gatherings and bat mitzvahs and stuff, full with random unhappy disco ball. There have been 5 bands in complete, and the entire thing lasted for five goddamn hours due to half-hour breaks. It was a bizarre and exhausting afternoon into night time, and the one good factor till the principle act hit the stage was a largely unknown troupe known as ¡Pendejo!, who blew me away with a singular model of brass-infused, Spanish-sung stoner steel. Not too long ago I acquired the prospect to see these guys once more, and I knew then and there I needed to introduce the world to them, as a result of they certain as hell deserve greater than a part-time bat mitzvah corridor with a shitty disco ball.
In a shock twist, the band shouldn’t be really from any Spanish-speaking nation, however was shaped within the chilly flat and moist of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Two of the founding members do have roots in Colombia, nonetheless, and so they haul the music up by the roots. The sun-blasted riffs, a thickened distillate of friends like Monster Magnet (with whom ¡Pendejo! toured), drip with sweat and tequila, confirming that it is a steel band firstly. Frontman El Pastuso punctuates the riffs with blaring bursts of trumpet or fills the gaps with quick licks that pepper the songs with Latin-American taste, with a trombone plastering an additional dimension onto the background with its heat notes. The bass has an awesome heavy twang, becoming a member of the understated drums in laying a strong basis.
El Pastuso’s vocals are with out query essentially the most divisive ingredient of the line-up. The oftentimes vulgar lyrics are delivered with sufficient gravel to fill the Gulf of Mexico and a timbre so hoarse, it’s like he smoked cigars via a bong stuffed with whiskey. There’s completely a theatrical ingredient to this; a number of the efficiency is relatively clenched and forceful, like he’s squeezing the phrases out via his enamel. Nevertheless it’s character performed effectively, harking back to a bad-mannered bandit antagonist in a 60’s spaghetti western. And he proves there’s extra depth past the floor with the superb ballad “Hasta El Ultimate,” which oozes the frustration, melancholy and remorse of a person who is aware of his life will quickly be over, however doesn’t need to go simply but. It might not be the prettiest fashion of vocals, nevertheless it heaves with persona not often heard in stoner steel.
¡Pendejo! has been refining its fashion for effectively over a decade. The band is aware of how you can use its idiosyncrasies so as to add selection to the tracklist, and the 44 minutes has been edited down with confidence, leaving an album with little fats. The entrance half is particularly sturdy, with a one-two opening punch of hook-laden straight rockers, shifting down right into a pumping mid-pace that offers extra room to the brass for “No Te Vayas,” and exhibiting off their dynamic songwriting chops with “Otro Dios.” The second half of Volcán is a small step down, nonetheless, with “La Reina de la Ametralladora” winding up a bit forgettable, and “Ninguno” failing to implement a stronger hook regardless of its efficient downtempo heft. “Vamos A La Haya” compensates with some nice brass traces and a gleefully stomping refrain, and the superb manufacturing full of heat and readability makes it inviting to spin the document once more regardless of its drooping tail.
Volcán is the band’s fourth correct album, their line-up largely unchanged since inception. Although everybody loves a spunky newcomer that blows everybody away, it’s onerous to argue in opposition to the extent of self-assurance and expertise on full show right here. Whereas stoner tends to have an issue with each subsequent band sounding the identical, ¡Pendejo! is a breath of recent air, and that air reeks of smoke, sweat and powerful liquor, spiced with scrumptious brass and a brass balls perspective. Volcán is a kick to the cojones you’ll be pleased to obtain.
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Web sites: pendejoband.bandcamp.com | pendejoband.com | fb.com/pendejoband
Releases Worldwide: March seventeenth, 2023