MICROBRICOLAGES cd review from TIME OUT NY (issue 545)
More or less the French word for “do-it-yourself,” bricolage is a technique by which new art is assembled using clutter at hand; in anthropological terms, it also refers to a cultural identity created from subversive borrowings. Both definitions suit Album, a young, Monterrey, Mexico–based quartet whose second full-length, Microbricolages, offers an hour-long barrage of brief, densely constructed gems—none of which sound Mexican in any conventional sense. Café Tacuba may be part of the band’s heritage, but alternative-pop acts such as Radiohead, Beck and the Beta Band are far more apparent antecedents.
Opening track “Es Fácil” (“it’s easy”) leaps off the disc with a warbling, New Order–style bass line and a stuttering beat, as keyboards mimic bucolic kalimbas and brassy horns. “Los Mejores Pistoleros Vienen a Tuxpan” tags a whimsically ornate Beatlesque arrangement with a jiving vocal breakdown, which crashes abruptly into the glitchy dream-pop of “Amarama.” In “Ángel,” the band murmurs robotic harmonies that fuse the Beach Boys to Kraftwerk over a taut, jangly Talking Heads pulse. Album’s quirky sense of humor comes to the fore in songs whose titles translate as “Moog is dead; I saw the documentary” and, perhaps inevitably, “more cowbell.”
The intentionally opaque production won’t help gringos attempting to parse Album’s lyrics—most of which favor regional slang and wordplay over straightforward storytelling, anyway. But the group’s confident, polished appropriation of pop detritus from everywhere and everywhen assures that Microbricolages loses nothing in translation. -Steve Smith
MUSIC IS NOT DEAD
Few do the advant-garde future pop better than the boys from Monterry,Mexico.
I've no idea what the songs are about, but this is all so interesting and exciting it really doesn't matter.
There's something special happening south of the border and its name is Album.
It doesn't matter what language it is, rock is rock… and These guys from Mexico can just straight out jam.