The Top 10 of 2009: Number Two…

This and the number one still to come feel pretty obvious to me, but I guess it’s a lot easier to say that from this side of the keyboard. Los NatasNuevo Orden de la Libertad on Small Stone was my number one of the first half of the year, and my appreciation for it hasn’t diminished at all with the additional time. If anything, the Argentinian freedom rockers’ fifth album (not counting numerous other collections, the Toba Trance series, etc.) has gained esteem over the course of the last few months. In the context of the year’s releases, this, the number one and the number three are pretty much interchangeable in my mind, but when you way in all the factors, Nuevo Orden de la Libertad was the penultimate combination of quality, listenability and pure rock enjoyment.

I did a search on this site for Los Natas, and came up with more hits than I care to count, most of which can be boiled down to the simple phrase, “Los Natas kick ass.” From the review, to the interview with guitarist/vocalist Sergio Chotsourian and the sundry other nerd-outs, that’s what it all comes down to. As someone who spent the better part of 2008 popping on the band’s first album, 1999’s Delmar (Man’s Ruin), each morning on his way to work, I found Nuevo Orden de la Libertad to be more streamlined than its predecessor, 2006’s El Hombre de Montaña (also Small Stone), but still carrying the banner of creative jamming freedom for which the band’s work throughout releases like München Sessions has made them known.

They’ve transcended any simple genre tag, moved well beyond the Kyuss influence that typified their earliest work, and become a powerful and influential force all their own. Nuevo Orden de la Libertad was more than just a combination of killer songs; the cohesion and drive behind it became evident in every playback, and with each listen, the deceptive complexity of tracks like “Ganar Perder” and “Noviembre” showed themselves to excellently balance rich fullness of sound and raw intensity. More than some of the albums on this list, I know that Nuevo Orden de la Libertad is a record to which I’ll be returning over the years to come, and that’s exactly why it is where it is on the top 10 of 2009. Now if only we could get them to tour the US

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