TRACK | los spunky’s – te escribiré canciones de amor

5/5 golden merles

Lo-fi bedroom punk from Santiago, Chile, providing great heart and guts among other inexplicable innards throughout the convection. The tracks give some heavy pop sensibilities but offer them estranged from professionalized depersonalization of corporate art. Some direct, convincing evidence these tunes and textures can be held in high esteem outside of what has become of our culture, and can persist without ulterior motives. It is a welcome reminder.

It has the inevitable influence of radio, youth, nostalgia and combines it with the human desire for direct melodies about extremely simple/impossibly complicated things like ‘love.’ But in doing so also is stripping out the obligatory advertisements and operates similar to other independent media as though a musical ad blocker. Working directly without the pretense of polish, dissipating the sickly attaché which has been engineered to leech off our every action, while maintaining the preferences that seem to us inextricable from systems of oppression but are very much not.

Taking the good while shedding the parasitical, this feels healthy. And another glimpse of some small, personal vision of a way forward. Lots of good dreaming coming out of Chile lately, despite the turning down of the constitution. A different world is possible, break through the bullshit, return to basics and reinvent the world. Name your price on the Bandcamp.

TRACK | The Woolen Men – Head On The Ground

5/5 golden merles

The Woolen Men are Portland-based Oregonians who remind us that pop + punk need not be anything kitsch, that one can take some of the redeeming qualities of either and make a tremendous, infectious thing. Venerable and vacillating, the stakes are kept high, the form is relished, and it only seems intent on inflicting a moderate amount of damage.

The sirens of the synth gild everything, disintegrating it, opening the lane elegantly for when we’re cut back to bass and drum alone. And then the pronouncement: i hit a wall / but it wasn’t hard at all. It’s a convincing consultation or induction to the rumination, unadorned but substantive; blunt but never dull, a great and graceful cudgel.

Why do these two genres, pop and punk, so often combine to such supremely reprehensible results? Possibly, it’s the noxious hypocrisy of their purported intentions: one includes the implicit ideology of rebellion and the other has a cloyingly myopic fixation on the interpersonal or at-best abstraction. Not here, however. There’s a balance struck. An assembly of influences filtered through a prism of good intentions. It all comes across as earnest, a frank and alluring synthesis.

The vinyl is $10 from Woodsist.