Montevideo Mondays (XXV)

If -as Simon Reynolds exposed in his book Retromania- we´re condemned to keep on looking back to previous roots of pop music, then we should try at least to pay attention to the artists that can synthesize and adapt those older sounds -or the versions and previous reinterpretations of those- to a personal approach. That´s something that bands such as Astroboy, The Lucky Winners and Orange managed to do in their records, all montevidean and now extinct guitar rock bands with influences such as The Beatles, Bowie, The Strokes or the Britpop years. Those bands were part of a scene that was following that 2000’s trend with grace and attitude, in a city where the ska-rock and what here we used to call “trumpet rock” or “wind instrument rock” were the mainstream and they were the outsiders. That was the reason why, in those years, lots of them managed -especially in the case of Astroboy- to become local indie heroes.

More recently and after that wave, after a more somber and gentle solo effort, Martín Rivero (singer of Astroboy), was also part of a musical project of a producer mainly focused in the reintepretation of other music styles such as Juan Campodónico and his project, Campo. Cumbia, electronic sounds and disco were part of the eclectical soundset of the project, so Rivero had to adapt.

Nowadays, Atlas is the new band where musicians from that scene got together to play. Along with Rivero (now living in Shanghai) are Javier Vaz Martins (also from Astroboy), Emilio Acosta (The Lucky Winners, Solitarios) and Pablo Vellozo (Orange). And even though this first EP seems to have some reminiscences of previous influences (something like The Cars or the collaboration between Julian Casablancas and Daft Punk) others are closer to more disco-house approaches (more familiar to the type of work Vaz Martins did when he worked in the electro based Visions in 2010). This is something that sometimes still sounds weird coming from Rivero´s voice.

Nevertheless, this first EP is a sample of four assorted songs that testify the ability of the band of people with a wider musical skillset that makes them able to craft songs that move easily from danceable approaches to a more pop-rock radio based sound, either in english or spanish. and its nice to see that it works, that we still have a tiny fraction of the local musicians that can work on musical palettes more actual and contemporary.

Here´s a teaser and if you like what you hear, below is the full EP.


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