The National Flavour, The Cosmetics


Naranjada, Mexico ***1/2
Rating: 77
By Carlos Reyes

“I had been waiting for more” says the first track of The National Flavour, the first official release by The Cosmetics. In 2003 Sony/BMG released a collection of four “music boxes”, ironically compiling the highlights of the new wave of independent bands from Latin America. This was our first encounter with a huge label taking a broad interest in a bunch of new indie music. Great bands like Porter, Austin TV, Nortec Collective, Maria Daniela, Los Abandoned among many others immediately catch the attention from big labels interested in distributing their music. The Cosmetics apparently fell short of commercial appeal and never got to put their thoughts on record. I will never understand bands across Latin America justifying singing in English because it’s “universally appealing”, but we must be able to take it for what it is. Just like I said about the Russian Red album a few post ago, The National Flavour doesn’t sound Mexican at all (great intended cover btw), it sounds like pure English rock, especially relatable to new wave bands such as Spoon & The Artic Monkeys. Pay close attention to “Newcomers” and “Mag Queen”, already big hits at music festivals in Mexico, perhaps too colorful for the Chikita Violenta super fanatics. Their MySpace lists in their influences bands such as The Cure, The Smiths, and The Kinks, this band follows traditional rock that in our culture would be mistakenly catalogued as hard rock. The six tracks in the EP travel through clash, ups and falls and may appear too broad in themes but always sophisticated in their instrumentals. I still prefer Los Dynamite over The Cosmetics, but this is great proof a small garage band somewhere south the border can rock in any language and do a good job at it.