Album Review – Dias Raros by Melenas (2020) (Trouble In Mind Records)

 

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Im getting on a bit now. Not quite old enough to be advised not to go to work during these COVID times, but certainly old enough to have developed one of the comorbities that make me high risk. As such it’s probably too late for me to change my ways to any great degree.

Therefore, no matter who may try and dissuade me, fuzz-pop is likely ro remain my somehwat unusual ‘luxurious bath time’ choice of music. Try it…nice (very) hot bath, some of that smelly bubbly stuff that your wife has (usually with little rocks,seeds or pips in it that you pull out of your orifices until next bath time) and a fuzzy luscious pop melodies/playlist consisting of Hanemoon, Jetstream Pony, The Pastels, The Vaselines, Fanclub and Trying permeating the steamy atmosphere. Its an hour of bliss and a change/treat from the daily showers.

This sophomore album confirms the absolute fact that Pamplona (Spain) based four piece, Melenas, deserve not only to take their place in my self pampering scenario but also (and perhaps ‘slightly’ more importantly) their absolute right to be included among the fuzz-pop luminaries listed above.

Their sumptious default mode is the sense of fuzzy/garage luscious that tracks like No Puedo Pensar, 29 Grados (see below) and Despertar render. Such tracks have a melodic sub-strata that somehow surfaces from both the layers of guitars and the interplay of the shimmering main/backing vocals of Leire and Oihana Melenas. The exact orgin of where these ‘tunes’ emerge from is never quite certain, which only adds to the appeal.

However, the best of the album moves well beyond such a precious blueprint and visits the realms of essential. Here tracks like Ciencia Ficción, Ya No Es Verano and the album’s true stand out En Madrid (see below), relegate the fuzz to mere equal importance and add an extra layer of C86 style jangle to the aesthetic, that more than nods in appreciation to the likes of Even As We Speak and The Pastels.

Of course, for any UK based ‘Brexiteer types’ or American ‘Trump monkeys’, I am going to have to forewarn you now that the entire album ignores your need for English to be the only language ever heard in your native domicile…however, for anyone else with the merest semblance of a musical soul, that will never matter at bathtime

Truly magical stuff!

Artist Links: Facebook  Twitter Instagram

Label Links:  Bandcamp  FacebookTwitter, troubleinmindrecs.com,

 

 

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