I’m not really sure what my delay on this one was, but I found out a few months ago about the 2010 split between Argentinian mega-trio Los Natas and more metallic side-project Solodolor. It’s the second one the two bands have done — small wonder since they share guitarist Sergio Chotsourian in common — and with Solodolor vocalist El Topo Armetta (also Dragonauta and Eight Hands for Kali) singing on three of Los Natas‘ total seven tracks, the effect the split has is more like a family/semi-collaboration than the usual one band on this side, one on the other. Because Los Natas‘ music is so fluid tonally anyway, it works.
Solodolor get the last three tracks. The lineup of Chotsourian, El Topo, drummer Gustavo Rowek and bassist Billy Anderson (yes, that Billy Anderson) showed the same three songs on the last, vinyl-only split, so it’s basically a chance for anyone who didn’t hear them then to do so now. They’re heavier than Los Natas in the traditional metal crash and bash sort of way, more High on Fire than desert rock, but even the unhinged feel of “The Battle of Mocha Poo” meshes well with the surrounding material.
Five of the seven Los Natas songs are covers, and the hardest part about them is choosing a highlight. For original material, they do new versions of their own “Soma” from the first album and “Rutation” from the second, but with “Thumb” and “Green Machine” by Kyuss, T.S.O.L.‘s “No Time,” Danzig‘s “I Don’t Mind the Pain,” and a Spanish-language take on the all-time classic of classics, “Ace of Spades” by Motörhead — redubbed “El Ass de Espadas” — it’s the covers that win the day. And that new “Soma” rules, don’t get me wrong, but come on, Los Natas playing the opening riff of “Thumb?” Life doesn’t get much better than that.
The only drawback to the covers is that it isn’t Chotsourian singing. He still plays guitar, and he, bassist Gonzalo Villagra and drummer Walter Broide are as tight as ever instrumentally, but a host of vocalists are brought in to cover duty. El Topo was already mentioned, and he does well on the Kyuss songs and “I Don’t Mind the Pain” — which might be my pick of the bunch, depending on my mood — while Argentinian singer Boom Boom Kid makes the T.S.O.L. song work surprisingly well and Ricardo Iorio (V8) manhandles “El Ass de Espadas.” It’s pretty clear Los Natas chose friends and people they wanted to work with, and it’s hard to fault them that.
I’ll stop short here without going into full review-mode and just say that if like me you’ve waited to check out the Los Natas/Solodolor split, consider that time wasted for not having a voice in stuck your head constantly yelling “El ass de espadas! El ass de espadas!” Awesome.
Tags: Argentina, Los Natas, Solodolor, Tocka Discos