Fungal Punk: Los Bengala "Incluso Festivos"
It goes without saying that when I am requested to review any produce from the Dirty Water Records stable I get slightly aroused. The reason for this perverse reaction (of which I make no apology) is that, over the years, the label has given me untold delight with quality release after quality release. In fact, along with Do The Dog Records, I would name these peddlers of noise as the very best labels to have tickled my tastebuds in recent times. Of course I can't like everything, that goes without saying, but the hit rates here are fantastically high and this underdog pig bloody well appreciates it. So what of Los Bengala, and what of the CD release here. The band arise from Zaragoza in North-east Spain and are a brace of racket-makers who combine drum and guitar and do so with a leaning to sounds definitely garaged. It sounds a tantalising and compelling mix and I go in salivating but sober and more than ready to give an honest run down of the ten tracks donated my way.
We start with the intro instrumental known as 'La Caza', a one way track tumbledown that is merely the carpet layer for the cacophony to come. Slightly jungleoid and tribal, beautifully ornamented with a repeater beater string manipulation this one threatens to rise to heady heights but leaves you in limbo and opens the way for...
'Sé a dónde voy' a song that knows where it is going from the off with a free-flowing glitter tint of animation soon spiced with hollered and hollowed chants borne from bellies laden with festival energy, lo-fi suggestions and tumbling acrobat vigour. The song propels itself forward on self-made gusto with the galloping attraction thoroughly magnetic and pulse lifting. Many flavours collide and come out impregnated with neighbouring essences thus making for a bag of spangular sonic sweetness constantly fizzing within your inner aural orifice - tasty! A keen start with bolder pronunciations unfolding amid the grand triumph of 'No hay amor sin dolor', a ditty that blooms with acute punctuations before blossoming brighter with tympanic assistance. The first verse is shouted from the rear, gives a feeling of over the shoulder urgings that promise to fulfil yours, and the bands own, expectation levels. The chorus that emerges is a fantastic explosion of joy de vivre and enthused thirst for creating celebratory triumph loaded with textured tonality and high-flown professionalism. This is exciting spirit raising gumption flapped forward by highly capable mitts and if anyone is feeling lowly after an unbridled ping about to this then their sonic soul is bereft of life – and I pity them! No pain, no gain, work hard and get the results - seems the recipe here!
A scorched three count and into the fuckin' thrusting craziness of 'Jodidamente loco' a song dripping with juice, goodness, incandescent jubilance thus putting another feather in the ever refined cap this band are donning with brazenness. A delectation of devouring acoustic intelligence that utterly refuses to take a backward step without taking your acceptance as prisoner. The band have a penchant for vigorously involving your very quintessence and whipping it up into a frenzy of glorious gratitude thus forcing an acknowledgement of the superb sizzle-o-mania. A flag-flying beauty of multitudinous colours - wave on! 'Máquina inferna' is a effervescent little number, best likened to an Orthopteran specimen pumped full of candy sticks and other 'E' based material. A fidgeting fuckwit once again pumped with a sense of acoustic adventure and infecting hullaballoo. The colliding vibe and booty shaking flavour overcomes anything lost in translation and for me, this is ideal musicianship to shake off the daily stresses with. The attention to detail, the high action level, the fine clarity all combine and keep this CD flourishing and may I add, verdant!
Suddenly we have a change in approach, a thoughtful, slow strummed introspective start to the next track which is known as '65 días'. The initial worries about a stale flopper that may derail the triumphant tempo of the CD are soon banished to Nonsenseville as a woven blanket of intricate European leaning slips over the ear space and provides deep rooted rhythmic comfort. A mix of the spaghetti-ised western-esque tension, abundant fiesta alcohol frolics and the usual whizzed lust and cacophonic concupiscence the initial bloom of trepidity soon confidently opens to reveal a varicolored pompom of magnetising melody. I sniff very deeply indeed over and over again and, never fail to smile with appreciation! Track seven already and 'Aaah' bassily funks inward, pops its own cork and offers a chance to clap along and feel that vibe ma'an. As we move on we can almost predict a virulent onslaught coming and are soon rewarding by a brilliant episode of wild, untamed free-reeling that invades the more controlled moments (in the loosest sense) with a new found level of liberation. No matter how far to the extremes this duo push they always have a full grasp on the vital core of the tuneage and create sweet mushrooming music of rewarding dimensions. Hefty stuff.
'Ataco' assaults the senses with another festival of tonality all sparkling bright, poured from many directions and sending the inner attentive senses haywire. It is a bombardment of unaffected ease, a shower of overloaded notes and chords and trinkets of glamour to both delight and bewilder in equal balance - I need add very little at this point. The closing two numbers are equal in stature and strength to anything that has gone before with 'Perfect Body' a scrummy dig at vanity and self-adoration. Tackled with flair, flamboyance and 'fuck it' naturalness it is, as you may expect by now, another winner in the Fungal sonic book of assessment. As is the closing 'Abran Paso' a song that spreads itself out on your indolent lap and has one last attempt at invigorating your arse. If, at such a late juncture, there is no sign of life, maybe it is just as well, Heaven help you. This closing piece is a foot-stomping, heavy chomping nag at the last bastions of your senses that must surely submit to the pecking tumult. This is the least ornamented song of the lot and so the least effective it seems but after a pause it sucks new life up its own resplendent jacksie and farts out one last blast - a very wise move.
And that is that, over, done, finished, finalised, full stopped and fuckin' dealt with and...what a joyous journey it has been. If you have stuck through the review thus far then you need no extra persuasion to buy this, so now switch off from this site, get your cash and get ordering, what is, a cracking ten tracker to elevate your very being.