Los Punsetes - LP2

LP2, Los Punsetes
Recordings From The Other Side, Spain
Rating: 85
By Carlos Reyes

Scattered rock is best when dotted by peculiar nostalgia, even better at the hands of an enfant-terrible band like Los Punsetes. This hot band from Madrid is the real deal when it comes to rock melting geographical distinction; in a sort of Atlantic Ocean adventure, they have managed to surpass their celebrated debut with LP2, a splendorous set of songs deeply carved in pop’s perplexing bizarreness. Los Punsetes have stepped it up, their opera prima was wonderful but a bit stuffy, with the help of producer David Rodriguez (producer of La Bien Querida’s Romancero) they have polished one of the albums of the year.

“Polished” is probably not the best description of the album; it’s actually wonderfully uneven, perhaps rude. For those completely unaware of Spain’s pop idiosyncrasy, this might be a hard album to sell, but this album is guaranteed to wash away any kind of self-esteem obstruction preventing you to stop for a moment and laugh at yourself or the person next to you. “Tus Amigos” is a great first single that genuinely exploits this premise, “que le den por culo a tus amigos, pasa de ellos y ven conmigo”, it’s like justice being negotiated through humor, one that’s not harsh nor critical, it’s rather an opportunity to harden friendship.

Much has been said about Ariadna’s singing, I happen to like her voice more than I would care to admit to. But don’t me wrong, I wouldn’t give the argument of Ariadna having a unique style, it’s about acknowledging her voice as a result of music’s infinite possibilities. Los Punsetes couldn’t be less concerned to defend their ‘style’, they rather make the most of it in “Estilo,” one of the few potential anthems in the album. This track is a like a dream for those of us that enjoy Kanye West and Residente Calle 13’s ego-friendly tunes but are a bit shy to follow them, hypocrites they say (see, I'm already embracing my persona), “yo no tengo las respuestas yo no tengo estilo, sin duda alguna la belleza esta en el interior, pero a algunos les asoma y a otros no.”

LP2 is a storm of lyrical force, one-liners and double meaning; from “conmigo ya tienes de sobra” in “Tus Amigos” to just the title of “Yo Creo Que Creo en Satanas.” The band lyrics are creative within their language and the music is equally stunning. The riffs in the opener “Los Cervatillos” (Deer) are desperate and distressing, eventually layering up high and enough to find their way out of their misery. In some songs like “Hospital Alchemilla” and “Dinero” they sound like legit pupils of The Jesus and Mary Chain, needless to say they are the most nostalgic tracks in the record. LP2 is a killer, a reunion of exquisite songwriting and top-notch execution, what else is to ask for.