SoundsXP: Los Chicos "In The Age Of Stupidity"
In the week when the king of Spain went on TV to express his concern about the county's economic crisis (and avoided talking about his recent jaunt to Africa to blow the living shit out of some endangered wildlife), us foreigners can only speculate as to what the Spanish public make of it all. Is the best way to tackle a crisis to panic and get your brain into a state of depression and uncertainly? Or is it just to carry on regardless, fight how you've always fought, take it in your stride and try and wring what you can out of life? On 'War Or Party', Madrid veterans Los Chicos address this very problem. Their decision seems to be "It's gonna be war or party, so let's have fun".
Listening to their fifth album 'In The Age Of Stupidity' only cements further that they're here to make sure any worries can be brushed aside, for a while at least, using the power of raw rock 'n' roll. They incorporate the Bo Diddley beat, taking Johnny Otis' 'Willie And The Hand Jive' to it's ultimately crude conclusion on 'Willie And The Hand Job' (the album is called 'The Age Of Stupidity' after all...) and there are another eleven similarly lively proto-punk tunes, along with a few that sound more modern, such as 'Hear It Again' and the title-track. Really this is what Green Day would sound like if they had decent tunes, stopped pretending to be dorky teenagers and had a singer that didn't sound like a frog being strangled.
What this album really succeeds in is not getting too bogged down in the past, the songs are light and sparkly which lifts them up and pressure-washes them down so they're shiny and new, like on 'You Sold Me'. 'On My Face' could be a lost Ramones track but it feels that bit too modern. This freshness and more edgy sound builds a bridge between several generations of guitar music, nicking bits and bobs as they go but attacking each song with a glint in their eye and their hearts pumping hard. It's not political parties that Los Chicos care about, they're more concerned with parties full stop, so please excuse us for a while, we're off to join in.