A band of brothers and some family values
One of the most thrilling mysteries in the uruguayan musical scene is the amount of musicians with astounding technique per cápita, people capable of playing different rythms or styles and fitting in any rock or pop band. On the other hand, it´s hard to find real, authentic song crafters in Montevideo. By “song crafters” I guess I mean people capable of making simple and effective pop rock songs with a potential to transcend into the future.
This story is another testimony of how Montevideo works for many talented bands. The first time I saw brothers Seba and Tincho Cáceres playing their songs and singing lyrics of their VJ Fran Cunha in Vieja Historia (their first band), I felt that potential. Being sort of rookies in the musical scene (that was 2006) the songs of records like Álbum or the EP Doméstico showed an unprecedented way to face the composition of songs: simple and at the same time packed of sound and high volume capability. Their mix of hillbilly, country and blues rock that takes you straight to a highway full of trucks combined with some terrenal-but-still-quite-artsy pop songs seemed like a sincere escape to the frivolity of the montevidean music scene. On the stage, Vieja Historia was a bunch of friends sweating the hell of their songs for a very broad audience: teens, dad rock fans, grandpas et al.
But the life of Vieja Historia was as doomed as the stories of most of those promising young bands that died in its own potential between the limits of a city incapable of giving them means to grow up. “Died” is just a way to say in this case, because after Álbum in 2006, Vieja Historia managed to survive internal fractures and even record Doméstico, an EP that made them win some local awards. Unable to handle the dynamics of being the main project in a group of musicians that play with lots of other musicians, the members of Vieja Historia “killed” the band placing a coffin in the avatar of their social network accounts. They were out of the league without being signed by a professional label although they were part of Peach & Girls label, created by them and other close bands such as the electrofunkers Closet.
But in such an energetic and sensible gang, it was not hard to think that the songs were going to crawl back right after the burial. So it would be fair to say that Los Hermanos Laser (the laser brothers), the new name of the band, represents the Vieja Historia musical soul with an addition of maturity and perspective. After some ups and downs, they premiered the first new songs in january and some months later, the record was in a website for free. The shows confirmed the previous sensations: that hillbilly highway pop rock acquired an even more personal approach, with tunes that face different stages of friendship, commitment and the experience of getting older. It can be listened as the soundtrack for that group of friends you have since you were a child.
Los Hermanos Laser (homonymous name) is, this year, one of the most commented records in the city. Their musicians have gained a lot more visibility in mass media but are still unsigned; something irrelevant in a scene so fragmented but still a good picture of the way the music business work in Uruguay. They deserve it because their music evolved and the local environment needs some simple good pop rock made with refinement and, most of all, empathy with those who listen.
You can hear the record and pay what you want for downloading it, Radiohead style, here.