Being one of the more self-conscious (not to mention idle) bloggers around, I’ve been increasingly aware that these days most of the material eddying from these parts is pretty, well, Latin. Great dollops of chicha, second (and third) helpings of cumbia and side dishes of Spanish indie… Maybe I should just carry on ladling it out, but I guess that in the interests of balance and fairness, I could make it clear that I do spend a fair amount of time listening to other stuff…
So, anyhow, I give you La Hell Gang.
La Hell Gang
We-e-e-ll… turns out that La Hell Gang are from Santiago and whilst technically this makes them as Latin as everything else I’ve been posting recently, in spirit they’re as far away from the accordion folk sounds of Cumbia as it’s possible to be. In truth, I didn’t realise any of this until a good couple of weeks after I’d started enthusiastically tucking into the boisterous guitars of Thru Me Again (released last month on Mexican Summer – the “thru” bothers me, by the way…). But by then, it was all too late.
Some wag has made a flippant remark on one of the La Hell Gang vids on YouTube referring to Sigur Ros, but you shouldn’t let that bother you (no matter how much this also bothers me…) It’s principally a massive slab of psych-ey, guitar-dominated indie-rock – vocals well down the mix, drummer on half-time, wah-wah and all manner of other jiggery-pokery echoing about the place. And, my friends, I really like it. Maybe, you will too…
One of the reasons I didn’t link this lot to their Chilean chums The Holydrug Couple and Föllakzoid is that I initially misread their name as LA Hell Gang (while we’re onto things that bother me…) and to be fair it’s not hard to make some sort of languid biker gang connection, when you see the photos and hear the first strains of Inside My Fall.
Actually, I’ve only just found out that despite reading to the contrary (I’m sure) Thru Me Again is not actually their first record – 2009’s Just What Is Real was released in South America (and probably over here) on BYMRecords. And I’ve just found it on Emusic too. First listen tells you it’s a much more garagey affair than the new one, and makes you realise that no matter how raucous and coarse the new record sounds, there’s actually been a certain amount of “maturing” going on here… Scary!
Looking forward to getting into the childish stuff!