Whether the music is your thing or not, what you have to admit about Disparen! (Aquatalan), the second album from Argentina?s El Festival de los Viajes is that it?s accurately titled. Disparate, unique: they simply don?t fit, and that?s clearly on purpose. Disparen! boasts a sound taking cues from the psychedelic spaghetti west and somehow transposing them over rock structures. Can meets Ennio Morricone? Maybe. If they?re anything, they?re hard to pin down.
That being the case, Disparen! is all the more satisfying listen for its individualist qualities. Morricone is an obvious stylistic comparison; the Italian composer scored For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once upon a Time in the West, as well as over 500 other films both western and non. But El Festival de los Viajes are definitely a rock band, if one with considerable folk elements. The subtle groove in the wah guitar of ?El Andante? proves it. I hesitate to call them experimental only because of the connotations of totally inaccessible artistic nonsense the word brings out. Disparen! feels less like that than it does the byproduct of a band simply doing their own thing.
I?ll pause here to allow those who just gasped to recover their breath before continuing?
An Earth comparison is easily transposed over the slower, instrumental ?Los Susurros y el Grito,? and one could hear Crippled Black Phoenix in ?El Destino? if so inclined, but El Festival de los Viajes find their true calling when it comes to the complexity of their arrangements. The greatest achievement of this album, what it does best, might be the way these songs are pieced together, feeling complete and full without being over the top — the added sonic swirls or twists managing to actually fit when and where they are placed. With a range of singing styles throughout, Disparen! is a gripping work of depth and style that has the substance to match.
It?s not going to be everyone?s first choice for listening. Some will be put off by the western sound and some simply won?t be able to abide the subdued mood that pervades throughout, but for those with an ear to dig into Disparen!, El Fesitval de los Viajes will be a great find. Approach cautiously and with open mind, and be prepared to give it more than one listen before rendering a final judgment.
Tags: Aquatalan, Argentina, El Festival de los Viajes