These radical Madrid rockers blend political lyrics grounded in class conflict analysis and hip-hop as an "antagonist culture" with a wide-ranging musical mix that in places reflects the influence of Negu Gorriak and Mano Negra. Occasional bursts of roaring guitar and the literate, ideological slant of the rapped lyrics recall the Basque band while the rhythmic variety and the midsong shifts in style bring to mind Manu Chao's old crew. Hechos Contra el Decoro employs a broad sonic palette. Soukous-zouk guitar pops up here and hip-hop and funk foundations there, while ska and reggae make regular appearances and atmospheric keyboards and punchy horn riffs bring in additional colors. "Viene y Ya" starts off with rocking drums and guitar, then goes atmospheric, shifts to a reggae groove with bright trumpets, and then returns to high energy for the driving finale. If "Esto Es lo Que Hay" can move from romping two-tone ska to zouk-soukous to raggamuffin, then why not start "Guerrilla Musical" with a little sitar jungle rap, jump shift to a Negu Gorriak-style guitar chordal cadenza, add trombones and female vocals, then finish up back in the sitar jungle? The big problem is that the band doesn't seem to know how or when to stop the ideas coming -- the constant jumping back and forth never comes together smoothly à la Mano Negra. "Nueva Izquierda" blasts '60s radicals now comfortable with power and "El Barrio" looks at the disruption of a city neighborhood due to the demands of market forces, but those are rare examples of a slightly more personal touch in the anti-system lyrics. Nevertheless, Rabiamuffin is a strong debut -- plenty of energy, plenty of variety, and plenty of food for thought from a European/global perspective.
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