Cola Jet Set

Contando Historias

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Indie pop fans generally turn to Sweden and Scotland in order to get their sunshine fix -- which is a pity, because some of the best giddy, bubblegummy indie pop is actually made in Spain. Cola Jet Set are just one example of the first-rate indie pop that was coming out of Spain in the early 2000s. On their 2004 debut, Contando Historias, Cola Jet Set sound like Saturday Looks Good to Me, La Casa Azul, and, perhaps more than anything, Los Fresones Rebeldes (Felipe, Aaron, and Cristina's former band). And in a way, Cola Jet Set are kind of like los Fresones "take two"; a kind of like the giddy, handclappy continuation of that band. The first track, "Qiereme" (a Spanish language cover of Groove's 1967 single "Love It's Getting Better" -- which was also, incidentally, covered by the Pastels) is a great example of everything Cola Jet Set do well -- it's zippy, bubblegummy, refreshing, and irresistibly hooky. La Casa Azul's Guille Milkyway produced this album, and his smart touch with production is really showcased here -- these tracks are lovingly muffled, big-sounding in the way an old mono recording would sound, and glittering with reverb. On Contando Historias, every detail is in perfect order, right down to the Hammond organ flourishes -- which, by the way, are a real pleasure here, kitschy as a kitchen done up in boomerang-patterned formica and refreshing as a lemonade pie, especially on "Cosas Que No Se Olvidan." From front to back, Contando Historias is brimming with surf rock-style harmonies, pulse-quickening tambourines, and incredible energy. It's the right balance of imaginative instrumentation, smart production, and killer songwriting, and as a result this disc stands as one of Cola Jet Set's definitive albums. Those looking to dig into this band's discography would do well to start here.

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