Neon Walrus - Épico

Épico, Neon Walrus
Rock Juvenil, Mexico
Rating: 70
By Carlos Reyes

On their new album’s leading single “Símbolos”, Neon Walrus sings about five body-less slaughtered heads rolling down on a port. This is the large-scale landscape of the band’s sophomore release, one that streams consciousness, stretches the disco sphere thematics, and codifies Mexico’s current violent narco war by brushing it into a smart conceptual album with an ironic uneven composition.

Neon Walrus put out a stellar self-titled 3-piece EP two years ago with a neo-rock premise to envy. Despite having built the perfect backbone for their music skeleton, they’ve decided to release yet another EP titled Épico. In this album they keep themselves mostly away from their socially-staccato ‘feel-good’ debut, and have flipped the equation into an album that demands further reading. The Mexican electronic duo comprised by Mateo González Bufi and Francisco Martinez didn’t cook the full-length album we were all anxiously waiting for, but Epico is a captivating good assortment of songs that function at their own tempo, and should (at the very least) provide the band with some momentum.

Épico’s album cover lives up to its title as it starts the narration of an album that goes from the baroque, to the sensationalistic. Neither tragic nor heroic, Neon Walrus’ approach to a nation’s political agenda is both, ambitious and dangerous. The experimental framework of the band has been put to the test not only on its conceptual lyrical chops, but also on their journey to darker landscapes. Album opener “Beta” is the album’s ultimate peak, a track that bleeds social resonance and poetic abstraction. Neon Walrus doesn’t strike to be a politically-conscious band, but steps in that territory do to a lumpy album structure. Nevertheless, the band’s relentless search for rhythm and sequencing (particularly in the über-optimistic “Camaleón”) proves Neon Walrus’ extraordinary qualities to hue electronic patches.