Triángulo de Amor Bizarro - Año Santo

Año Santo, Triangulo de Amor Bizarro
Mushroom Pillow, Spain
Rating: 92 ****½
by Carlos Reyes

Somewhere between medieval times and the arrival of sci-fi, the new great band from Spain crafted a genuine hybrid of monstruos spectacle and human nature. Even the most vanguard bands and revolutionary individuals have set parameters through conventional music form, but when music revisions not only past sounds, but the collective socio-cultural habitat by which it is surrounded, that’s a good sign for the millennials. Triangulo de Amor Bizarro’s sophomore album is either a masterpiece, or something to close to it. It’s fleshy, it’s raw and a catharsis, where sound crystallizes its own history by means of purgation. TAB’s thirst not only accomplishes to be curious, they bring tailor-made consciousness to the front of the line; “de donde sacas esos ropajes? parecen medievales.”

Without entering a cycle of pop culture reconsideration, Triangulo de Amor Bizarro brings the edge of what rock music should sound like. It’s through their songs that they make rock music be personal again, and it’s through their aesthetics that they enforce theoretical formation in the best of My Bloody Valentine and Teenage Fanclub. Despite flirting with noise pop, the band keeps convention as a way to frame the album’s palpable energy and its high-grade themes. Año Santo is an unmeasured set of songs scattered throughout carnivalesque lands at different time frames. The album carries a clever sense of Spanish inquires, mostly dealing with Roman Catholicism. The way they reconcile these religious notions is by juxtaposing faith with unsettling sci-fi styling. It sounds like a menace, but they afford to take such risks as they opt for expressiveness rather than impressiveness.

TAB’s fascination to customize songs allows the band to dissect strings, drums and programmable media. The album might serve somebody’s purpose as a rock-solid production to shoegaze, but one must not overlook the actual substance that’s drives these pieces to glory. “Amigos del Genero Humano” is an avant-pop mystical journey and the album’s first dosis of unframed timing. While every song is a hybrid, the lyrics are non-linear, in this case, it profiles a creature lost on the mountains, unable to howl, claiming its magic has gone death. “La malicia de las species protegidas” is a critique on a high-credited sector and a crude reality portrayal of its victims. Here the band employs an old-school recording style, while it claimes “esta cancion me la encontre tirada." This isn’t random word choice, it’s a projection of the band picking up a style and making it their own, “me pertenece.” It’s also an allegory of the predator chasing its prey, “tienes la mirada del ultimo lince.” Even if you speak Spanish, it’s hard to catch up with the lyrics, but beware of the every animal mentioned throughout the album; this includes sharks, lynxes and fishes.

“Super Castlevania IV” is the strangest, most beautiful song in the album, and a candidate for song the year. It pays homage to the classic platform video game in which our vampire hunter character (Simon Belmont) makes a visit to Dracula’s castle. The appreciation of such folklore is taken by TAB crafting the most passionate love song, where sacrifice and blood go hand-in-hand, “nena nena, por ella me quito la vida entera, o por lo menos un poco de sangre. The song’s crescendos build up the most beautiful climax, “pero por mucho que quieran, nadie podra separarnos, por mucho que quieras, no vas a quitarme de en medio.” The music allows us to see our hero slicing monsters in half until winning her lady’s love. When Isa’s voice arrives it just becomes an overwhelming experience, she doesn’t bring the expected comfort and seems unresponsive to his love, “tu no estas bien de la cabeza”, but our guy is a fighter, claiming he’s got enough love for their love to prevail, “no me importa que no me quiera, yo la quiero por los dos.”

Understanding the complexity of Año Santo would equate understanding Albert Serra’s 2009 Spanish film El Cant Dels Ocells, a film that “revises the Three Kings' relationship to one another while they traversed the world's deserts in search of Christ.” Año Santo is less of a contemplative piece and far less situational. Like Serra, Triangulo de Amor Bizarro exploits religious imagery and codifies it into a fantastical journey, one closer to wolfman than to Christ himself. This is why songs like “Muchos blancos en todos los mapas” or “El culto a cargo o como hacer llegar el objeto maravilloso” do an excellent job transporting their chaotic sound into impulsive generational songs. As the title track suggests, this is an album to get lost in, “I’ll get up to the swirl that almost ate my grandfather… there I’ll find the music notes and voices that were calling us.”