Manta Ray

Torres De Electricidad
VÖ: 24.03.2006
Label: Acuarela
Vertrieb: Rough Trade Distributions

Electric, bare, straightforward, physical or tribal are some of the adjectives that come to mind when listening to the new Manta Ray record, Torres de electricidad [Electricity Pylons], the natural follow-up to their more conceptual previous album, Estratexa (2003). Having toured Russia, Portugal, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and the US – gaining support from the American label FilmGuerrero (of which released the last record with two bonus tracks), this Xixón based quartet offers now a more evolved version of their musical direction. After a career of several years, the band can now take pride in feeling – as the main influence, their own songs, their own history, untainted – an equation of talent and inspiration cleared by their personal and stylistic expressions.

Yes, we can speak of the Stooges, Fugazi, or Joy Division and Trans Am, or Don Caballero, Neurosis, or the German school (kraut), Washington DC, post-rock or post-punk, but it´s been a long time since Manta Ray just sound like themselves. Or, better said, like the version of themselves they want to show to us every time effort and fervour come together for a new album. It was recorded at Estudios Gárate with their usual producer, Kaki Arkarazo at the board, and has been mastered by Roger Seibel (who has previously worked for people like Calexico, Sun Ra, Come, Yo La Tengo, Pussy Galore or Tortoise).

Torres de electricidad is solid, metallic, electrifying. There are more guts and heart to it than head (brain was what Estratexa had, largely) giving for the most part an urgent and agonic air to the songs. With the intention of recreating their live performance they draw more exclusively from guitars, bass, drums, relying to a less extent on samplers and electronic instruments, but more so on refining their arrangements in a live context incorporating string and wind performances on several compositions.

“No tropieces”, “El despertar”, “Todo puede cambiar” or “Mi Dios mentira” are representative of the coarser, rockier and intense side of this new record, while tracks like “Añada para Celia”, “Por qué evadirse a otros mundos aun más pequeños” or the album´s namesake switch towards a more atmospheric and introspective direction ““ mere examples of the two faces of over 42 minutes of inner and outer exploration by a band that adds one and carries another: it´s own pulse, asking the most of one-self once more, Manta Ray finds a road full of discoveries to build a future with, and without destroying the past.
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