Le Priét Vaha-Chosmos E-BA con Maourian!!!,
Prietto Viaja al Cosmos con Mariano
Random Records, Argentina
by Carlos Reyes
“Why is there always nudity in Latin American films?” a fellow film scholar once asked. I could only attribute that regional artistic pattern to the struggle of financing art. If the resources are limited, it’s best your work arouses some senses. So that even if the provocateur red lights start flashing, you’ll be content in showcasing your vision at diverse intensities. Unlike film, music is a far more accessible medium, one in which we can afford explicit in lyrics and soundscapes. But, as with any art, we should always strike to produce and consume in less literal portions.
After the turn of the century, the vernacular has bleached most of its hassle, making artists approach form once and for all. Argentine duo Prietto Viaja al Cosmos con Mariano (PVCM) have crafted one of the year’s most explicit albums, and they’ve done that through two of form’s most fascinating horizons: amplification and length. Whether it was a strategic plan to afford a double album (publishing a double album is always cheaper than two individual albums), or a result of clean artistic picking, PVCM is asking for more than an inspection of its music in Le Priét Vaha-Chosmos E-BA con Maourian. This is the follow up to their self-titled and incredibly moving 2007 mini-album. Its quiet release and modest critical reception don’t quite equate to that time their underground hit-turned-classic “AV. Corrientes” became a generation’s zeitgeist, but they’ve always been a more-than-relevant kind of band.
During a four-year period of noise surveying and songwriting, PVCM came back with a production that will hardly earn them a new following but that’s still enriched with some of the best analog manufacturing from Argentina’s rock golden age. In its double-sided condition, the surprisingly terrestial Le Prie Vaha-Chosmos E-BA con Maourian is like a very difficult gift basket to unwrap. And once unwrapped, unpacking its goodies and differentiating among them becomes an even more taxing duty. No matter how inviting some of its promotional tracks have been (like that gorgeous Leonard Cohen cover, “Ey esa no es forma de decir adios”), this is still an intimidating record to review.
Regardless of what side of the album you decide to pop in first, PVCM is instantly recognizable. Prietto’s lazy vocals are still here (with people still questioning whether Spanish is his mother language), as well as the dusty strings that bundle up into deeply disorienting landscapes. In two discs that sound quite monotone, the stirring “El Bombero” is an easy song to underline, also, a ready-for-archive epic moment in continental rock. This is a performance full of irony that pretty much bitch-slaps anything ever done by Alex Lora and might bend your discretion of The Black Keys into pure gimmick. In other tracks like “Niños” and “Los Viejos,” the band triumphs in its emotional scope by introducing voyage through strings, substituting them with soaring vocals and eventually letting the sequences fly through the singing of crows. Yes, this is intimidating but also stimulating. What keeps Prietto Viaja al Cosmos Con Mariano from greatness is the hoarding of too many songs. This is a case in which sentimental attachment kept a really good album from stepping into those records we like to call destacados.