Vecindad Maldita, Philipina Bitch

Vecindad Maldita. Philipina Bitch
Discos Tue Tue, Chile
Rating: 79
By Carlos Reyes

Somewhere along the very thin line of psychedelic rock and an eruption, we find the sounds of Philipina Bitch; the most induced, serious and combusting band in the recent boom of Chilean pop. It’s an ethereal mindset and a thriving experience, perhaps too stiffly on its procedure but it’s a well thought, a well executed album on measure. Let me start by saying “Aplasta tu generación ” is one hell of a good song, its nonstop rush and eventual collapse make up a glorifying anti-anthem, it disjoints generational thought and even gimmicks from it. In a sort of “here you have your goddamn generation, now squash it”, the song becomes a hymn of its own.

Vecindad Maldita is the duo’s sophomore album, a brave one considering how compulsive it is and how well it manages to get away with it. See, much of the album’s potential and success lays in its anti-hero posture; that sort of disinterest and disjointed riffs and harmonies and their weird, sometimes fantastic encounter with vocals. In this way, Philipina Bitch accomplishes to sound ferocious without valve or over sweat, it’s nice to see a band with this depth on its form that actually sounds like a rock band. Without stepping on eclecticism, the band finds folksy rock and approaches it as if it was experimenting with the oddest of sounds. “Polera de Verano” is approached in such a way that it almost sounds naïf, while “No Es Mentira” (El Sauce) was probably the ‘standard’ form and ended up in Molotov’s territory.

Philipina Bitch is in a way, an exhausted band; but they make it work as that exhaustion is in tune with the dark exuberance of their harmonies and witty lyrics. The promotional single “Seis Arriba” shows a band that rejects guidelines, like No Age or Abe Vigoda, they hook and pledge for mood that sum up right quick and don’t necessarily end but find a way to escape through the crowded musical scope. They even handle jazzy rock in “Tan rapido como Juan”, which is actually a Tango, a very smoky one. The last two tracks return to those great bursts of “Aplasta tu generación”, but sounding more like The Smith Westerns and White Denim. With 17 songs, some pieces redeem to fill up space, not necessarily their purpose but it’s quite easy to place them there and not feel any guilty for doing so. It might not be the album that maps out their rationale in music, but it pushes them forward in extraordinary ways.