Lagrimas y Gozos, Ska-P

Octubre, Spain **1/2

Rating: 59

By Jean-Stephane Beriot

First, know that I find the saxophone to be the most obnoxious instrument there is. If I’m not able to digest the fuss for Paquito D’Rivera and his collages, perhaps SKA would be my only opportunity to tolerate it (perhaps Los Fabulosos Cadillacs as well). SKAP has been the only band that has forced me to digest the sound and until now they had been a favorite. The Spanish band announced their breakout in 2005, I was devastated and later I was happy to find out they were releasing a new album. My expectations should have never been so high. Lagrimas y Gozos sounds just like the albums by Los Rabanes, not a good thing. Funny thing is I was excited when I read the tracklist a few weeks ago where the lead track was titled “Ni Fu Ni Fa”, I assumed it would be a cover of the excellent song by Tego Calderon, I should know better. Truth is, SKAP is way too safe to even think about stepping out of their secure box. Most of the songs here feel either way too stuffy or others just plainly aspiring for the crudeness of Molotov or the mastery of Calle 13 to attack politics or religion, but yet again they are too closed to get creative. Will this get you jumping at a concert? Probably, especially on songs like “El Imperio Caera” which messes with the collapse of the U.S.A. “Americans, the empire will fall.” They are trying way too hard to be political and funny. There is however a great song here and it is a great first single, “Crimen Sollicitationis.” The vocals are great as usual, the best out of all the other notable SKA groups around: Maldita Vecindad, Doctor Krapula, Mago de OZ and of course Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. The cat in their album covers had never looked so strong, but listening to the album it should be old and tired. Warning! video not for the easily offended.