Friday, June 22, 2007

From the Miami Herald

Wow this guy read my review of Material Subversivo by Guajiro and lifted a few lines from it!
He gives them three stars, which I don't find particularly fair, the album is much better than that.

Material Subversivo
I Scream Records
Cuban-American punk -- in Spanish yet -- sounds like a totally unlikely proposition. But if you think about it, the intensity that ignites so much Cuban music (and politics) suits punk very well. This Miami quartet brings fierce musicianship, integrity, passion and a smart ambivalence to its debut. And it's great to hear someone explode musically at the forces of self-righteous repression that thrive on both sides of the Florida Straits.
The cover is a reproduction of a Cuban passport, and the title was what a Cuban official dubbed Guajiro's music when a friend tried to bring some to the island. Guajiro is definitely subversive for anyone who thinks inside the usual categories. Grinding guitars meet bata drums and Yoruba chants (courtesy of traditional drummers Aruan and Arelan Torres, who've taught Cuban percussion to Douglas MacKinnon, the lone Anglo) in Santa Fe, which gets inside the head of a man in Santa Fe, Cuba, a jumping-off point for rafters, the musical ferocity a terrific vehicle for his emotional agony as he wonders whether to stay or go.
The pain in Dos principes (Two Princes), with lyrics from the Jose Martí poem about a king and a shepherd suffering the death of their sons, gives you goosebumps. Mi verdad (My Truth) is an in-your-face demand to let them think what they want. And El gallo is a sly tale of a Cuban rooster who thinks he's king of the cockfighting ring until he meets an even tougher Mexican bird. The songs can start to sound repetitive. But all in all, Guajiro is inspiring.
Pod Picks:Santa Fe, Dos Principes