AIKO EL GRUPO: "Va totalmente en serio ..." Mini LP 10"
“New Adventures In Pop” collection [Issue 049]
It was imperative that the first physical release from AIKO EL GRUPO came out as part of our New Adventures In Pop collection (release number 49 already!), dedicated to interesting emerging bands. And the thing is, their youthfulness and the freshness of their sound are reasons that in and of themselves line up perfectly with the philosophy of this series of releases, which in this case is a precious 500-copy numbered-limited-edition orange 10” vinyl Mini-LP.
AIKO EL GRUPO got started in a very unusual way. Tere and Lara knew each other from school, when they lived in Valle de Camargo (Cantabria). Bárbara finished her schooling in Lucena and came to Madrid for university, and that is when she met Tere (who is also part of YAWNERS and REPION), and the three start going to the rehearsal space a lot, where little by little, and driven by bad relationships and alcohol-infused nights, really interesting things start happening. They played their first show in Cantabria and Jaime, who was in the audience and playing guitar at the time with ALTAIR, offered to join the band. And that is how all the pieces of the puzzle that today makes up a punk-pop group with a riot attitude and absolutely irreverent lyrics finally came together. Let’s take a look:
“Quiero conocer (por tu actitud)” is one of the songs we have already heard. Furious guitars, a wild keyboard, and one of the most pop-styled melodies on the album. The chorus is highly hummable and is the first show of spitefulness and self-determination. There are absolutely marvelous vocal plays: harmonies, melodies, shouts… The cards are on the table, and there is a lot at stake. “Me parece muy fuerte” steps on the gas, and suddenly there is an absolutely surprising intensity. It makes you want to jump around and shout lines like “Y ahora resulta que es mi culpa / Y encima me dices egoísta / Hay que tener mucha cara / Tú sí que eres egoísta” (And now it turns out it’s my fault / And you even call me selfish / How dare you? / You are the selfish one), to make them totally your own. Who hasn’t felt like that at some point? “Arroz con ketchup” closes the winning opening trifecta: the oscillating keyboard, the guitar rawer than ever, those fantastic vocal plays again, and an absolutely irreverent song about menstruation. It’s incredible. Those out of control screams. We cannot stop moving. The first beads of sweat form.
Yes, JOANNA GRUESOME and TIGER TRAP, for sure. But listen to “A mí ya me iba mal de antes”. Fury. A line/hymn like “Prefiero tener suerte… A tener buen corazón” (I’d rather be lucky… than have a good heart). Shrieks. Rage. Two minutes. Exhaustion. Now “Amigos para nunca (confía y te la lían)”. What a melody. What harmonies. What a chorus. PIXIES and PAVEMENT too. BEST COAST. Their palette of sounds goes beyond the spectrum of punk-pop, but their declaration of intentions is quite clear. All the bile that goes into “La peste”. Noise. Post-punk. Yes, it smells like rot. And they are taking the trash out to the street, and quickly. The second winning trifecta.
“Ya te vale” comes out full speed ahead. And is further proof that what they do isn’t just an SUV in fifth gear. Those broken rhythms, their impossible stops. Call us crazy, but there might even be some Slavic echoes in there as well. But the important thing is that the blood never stops boiling. “Si me conoces tanto (¿por qué me haces sufrir?) gets back to the catchy, ultra-fresh melodies. And yes, “Truchita (nunca volveré!!!!)”, another of the songs we had aready heard, reminds us of SHONEN KNIFE and BIKINI KILL. There is not a second to rest.
And to wrap things up, “Por qué no dices la verdad” is the only song on this Mini-LP that surpasses the 3-minute mark. Is this or is this not a total declaration of intentions? But yes, we have here the only mid-tempo, and it has earned its spot. It is a lazy melody, full of spite, that explodes with a shout of “Estoy genial” (I’m great). Isn’t music supposed to be a reflection of our feelings? AIKO EL GRUPO makes theirs crystal clear.
By now, I think it’s pretty clear, but nobody is going to get bored listening to “Va totalmente en serio…” AIKO EL GRUPO are new proof of the incredible state of the Spanish punk-pop scene. But more than that, they are a promise of great, energetic things to come.
TRACKLIST: 01 Quiero conocer (por tu actitud) 02 Me parece muy fuerte 03 Arroz con ketchup 04 A mí ya me iba mal de antes 05 Amigos para nunca (confía y te la lían) 06 La peste 07 Ya te vale 08 Si me conoces tanto (¿por qué me haces sufrir?) 09 Truchita (nunca volveré!!!!) 10 Por qué no dices la verdad
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