Regular readers of this blog will know that I have a particular passion for the aesthetic that the numerous variants of Spanish pop have been providing, especially over the last half a decade or so, with bands such as The Yellow Melodies, Autoescuela*, Melenas*, Giorgio Bassmatti, Teri vs Tori and Alpaca Sports, all receiving glowing reviews or various levels of my unique fanboy affections as reference points in the reviews of other bands.
As such when the music of the Kiwis reached my Facebook inbox, accompanied by the most timid request for ‘my considerations for a review or comment’ from the label (Snap! Clap! Records) that have, at some point, released music by the starred artists above (who I adore) the need to prioritize an early review became something of an anticipatory necessity.
The initial impression is that the Barcelona based four piece could well be the signature band for all that the Snap! Clap! label represents as the band/release visits the labels exact polar opposites. Initially the typically beautiful, smooth twee-isms of one time label mates Autoescuela is flirted with as the Kiwis nibble away at all things Spanish pretty, cute and inimitably melodic, in the female led tracks such as the stand out and lead single, El Camino (see below) and Volcan.
The sound is always far more muscular than these particular label mates, but the general essence and the slightly more elongated brevity of the tracks just provides the same beautiful ‘feel’. It’s all pure, uncomplicated, pop nuggets that should belong to an earlier decade, but you are glad they do not.
The other polar opposite is provided in the male led vocals. These give a definitive nod of appreciation to the more fuzz pop sound of label mates Melenas, without ever treading anywhere near the ultimate controlled fuzzed up aggression. Tracks such as I Es Tu (see below) and Mapes Infinitis build upon the muscular twee of the ‘female tracks’ adding even more muscle until ‘twee’ is not the definitive associative reference point. There is definitely the essence of the male led vocals that epitomized the quieter more melodic moments of Eugene Kelly / The Vaselines / Eugenius.
In general the ground between Spanish Twee and Spanish fuzz pop needs to be filled more adequately and the Snap! Clap Records / Kiwis combination could well, in time, invade this pop hinterland and make it their own.
Download released 18 April 2018 and beautiful cassette now available on pre-order (due to be shipped early May 2018).
E- Shop: snapclapclub.tictail.com