Madrid's Alacran was the brainchild of drummer and guitarist Fernando Arbex, who enlisted fellow Spaniards Oscar Lasprilla on keyboards and vocalist/bassist Ignacio Egaña. Their self-titled debut was their only album, and the opening track, "Sticky," was their only single. Recorded in 1969 and issued with no promotion on either side of the Atlantic, the album nonetheless captured the attention of the youth culture in their homeland and in parts of the rest of Europe. Remarkably, the edginess of the guitars and the deep Latin groove in the rhythms and minor-key melodies draw inevitable -- and accurate -- comparisons to Santana. Alacran is far more psychedelic and garage-y than the Santana band and, being a power trio, relied on the blues more as well. But nonetheless, this is the sound of Latin rock at the beginning, and the album is stellar. Alacran disbanded when Lasprilla moved to England, and the two remaining members formed the legendary Barrabas. The Alacran disc, however, is better than all of the Barrabas efforts put together. It remains an underground classic in the 21st century.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek