El Camino Real

Todos Tus Muertos

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El Camino Real Review

by Don Snowden

Argentina's punk/reggae/ska rockers Todos Tus Muertos were one of the most invigorating bands to emerge in the mid-'90s, but this swan song album on their own TTM label sounds a little tired. El Camino Real starts off with more hip-hop and rap vocals than before meshed to a thrash guitar roar; "Dignidad" sounds sort of like a cross between Basque rockers Negu Gorriak and a surdo-less version of Brazilian neighbors Chico Science & Nação Zumbi. But just when you think that the reggae quotient is being downplayed, "Asesinos Profesionales" and the rapid-fire ragga of "Los Envidiosos" restore the Jamaican component. "No Te la Vas a Acabar" is lazily effective, but Todos Tus Muertos save their best shots for the closing songs. Fermin Muguruza sings what seems to be a Basque-language translation of the opening lines to the Clash's "Guns of Brixton" to kick off the thrashing "Te Vamos a Quemar," and "Politicos" is a romping exercise in punk riffing. "Chekiraut" is a good flowing rock/rap with clavinet funk mixed in, "Jah Lion" really locks down on classic roots reggae, and "La Casa Rosa" is a nice, cool, atmospheric closer with vibes and treated guitar melodies blended with lyrical jabs at the rich. El Camino Real has its strong points, but generally it's spotty, with the material taking off sporadically but never really cohering into a whole. The chief feeling it leaves is of a band who has already gotten the max out of being together and probably should call it quits before their quality level falls off drastically.

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