El Seminuevo de Manzana, La Banderville

El Seminuevo de Manzana, La Banderville
Pirexia Discos, Mexico
Rating: 71
By Carlos Reyes

There is a small but significant line of bands making folk-rock their starting point, clinching the line of a sound we’re starting to associate with the ‘indies.’ This is of course, not the first time bands embark their music trips with hyphenated genres, but lately, this usually bright and compelling sound has acquired an up-to-the-minute notion of indie as pop, and vice versa. La Banderville joins that group of bands that includes Furland, Mr. Racoon and Torreblanca, bands making music within a very wide horizontal palette that in a way, replicates what happened to Spain’s folk-pop and bands like Francisco Nixon and The New Raemon.

La Banderville attempts redressing melody through personal anecdote and thought, achieving an elegant set that serves them more than well as an introductory album. The music itself doesn’t flourish as much as one would want to, but El Seminuevo de Manzana has enough shades and alignments to defend its polite canon. The album opens with “(85 Mandolinas)”, a stimulating intro where the band invests its high points. We’re immediately submerged into “El Secreto”, the album’s finest track. It’s the first of several tracks where the band opts to make story-telling its primary source of inspiration. This piece is wonderfully dreamy; it amends its speed as it feels it needs to, going neurotic towards the end, and let’s highlight its amusing self- nauseous lyrics, “eres como un secreto mortal, que debo guardar, que me causa una cosquilla estomacal.”

There’s something interesting in the lyrics, a certain practice of shortening phrases in both size and significance. “Super Pasto” best exemplifies this conduct, “disminuyes todo alrededor, lo haces minisculo… lo haces minusculo”, it presents the condition, describes it, and (through refrains) reaffirms it. Most of the album can be divided between anecdote and conversational pieces, which is fine when they go on to explore sound, but confines their lyrics. Songs like “Lucas” and “Siempre Si” forefronts the band’s naïveté, which isn’t a terrible flaw, in fact, it’s quite charming. First single “A la distancia” has a nice curve to it, going from flat to raw, from the simple to the elaborate, in short, it’s a song that would make Emmanuel del Real very proud. El Seminuevo de Manzana is overall, an infectious heart-warming album. It might not be entirely alert but it shafts its light with self-confident ease.