Argentinian stoner rock trio Los Natas (formerly just Natas, but a rap group grabbed that name away from them) has been pumping out albums since the late 1990s; they started out on Man's Ruin, but Nuevo Orden de la Libertad is their third release for the Detroit-based label Small Stone. Their music is heavy and psychedelic, with occasional bursts of punky speed and -- perhaps more impressively -- side trips into trancelike rhythms, desert guitar tones and spacy keyboards. The acoustic bridge on "Ganar-Perder" ("To Want-To Lose") creates an evocative mood of spiritual desolation that makes the return of the song's primary riff, not to mention Gonzalo Villagra's throbbing, relentless bassline, that much more effective. Similarly, "El Pastizal" features an almost flamenco-like intro that leads into a thundering, almost Melvins-esque stomp. On the other hand, "Resistiendo al Dolor" ("Resisting Sadness") features a riff blatantly jacked from High On Fire, so points off for that. In its second half, the album starts to feel a little padded, with the one-riff instrumental "David y Goliath" followed by the 90-second acoustic guitar bit "Bienvenidos," but "10,000" takes things in a pretty rockin' direction, and would have been a better than decent ending to things. Los Natas have one more trick up their sleeves, though -- the decidedly weird instrumental "Two Horses," which mixes spaghetti Western guitar plucking with reverbed piano to hypnotic, hallucinatory effect. If Alejandro Jodorowsky ever films the long-rumored sequel to his 1970 cult Western El Topo, this track should be its theme music.
- Phil Freeman
May 1st, 2009www.allmusic.com