Trueno Oscuro

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Monotract's nearly decade-long series of noisy explosions, whether live or in the studio, combined with member Carlos Giffoni's role in booking the No Fun Fests, almost made a release on Load Records inevitable at some point. Happily Trueno Oscuro is a fine contribution to that label's roster, as well as to the trio's now considerable collection of releases. Following up well from the previous year's XPRMNTL LVRS, the short album (seven songs at just over half-an-hour) helps show that the line between random prog/art rock experimentation and screaming punk-derived mania is further erased to meaninglessness. Something like "The Ballad of Lechon," with its vague country & western gone to Mars feeling, thanks to the murky production and the similarly odd sounding vocals, probably wouldn't have been out of place on an Amon Düül II album, while "Cafu y Kaka" in turn might have been considered for inclusion on No New York had it been recorded at the time. The absolute highlight is "Big N," which is even more of a ghost-of-Manhattan-79 effort drop-kicked into the present and gone even more angrily spastic, a massively heavy rumble shot through with cryptic electronic keyboard weirdness and low sonic snarls. The singing doesn't so much provide the icing on the cake as just enough of an anchor, just. The slight downside to the album is the starting track, "Muddy Thunder" which rumbles and clatters along well enough for most of its length but unremarkably so, until it gets more bass crunch towards the final two minutes which, combined with Nancy Garcia's vocals, allows the song to go out on a high and to point the way forward to the rest of the CD.

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