Album Review: Guadalupe Plata (2015) by Guadalupe Plata
Very Good, Based on 4 Critics
The Line of Best Fit - 85 Based on rating 8.5/10
Taking their name from the patron of their home-town, the virgin of Guadalupe, it’s of little surprise that there’s something transcendental about the eponymous new release from Spanish trio Guadalupe Plata. Fusing together the musical traditions of their native country with delta blues and anarchic psychedelia, pressing the play button is somewhat akin to the ingestion of peyote. A fitting comparison then, given that the first two minutes of the record also feel like the first tentative steps in to a dust-caked Mexican border-town - sleepy, for now, but with an ever-apparent air of danger beneath the surface.
Primordial blues rock high on atmospherics. As film director Sergio Leone proved, Spain makes a great stand-in for America. So it is with Guadalupe Plata, an Iberian three-piece whose take on punk-rock blues plugs directly into the Mississippi Delta while owing much to the power of the holy trinity of reverb, tremolo and feedback. .
The kind of record that leaves you feeling you need a bath, Guadalupe Plata is beyond dirty. A scuzzed-up, howlaround, frenzied fusing of blues forms and punk attitude, the Andalucian trio's fourth album was recorded live to eight track tape and you can tell: the arrangements are raw, the production barely there, the sound an abrasive, all-consuming clatter. It's an elementary mix but there's a blackened spirituality within its shadows.
You can almost smell the greased-back hair and the scent of old sweat on leather as you listen to what appears to be Guadelupe Plata’s third album, and their first to be released in the UK – it would almost be a disappointment if they didn’t travel from town to town across Andalucia by battered bike. They sound as if they must rip up the stage when they play live – a tense, taut rhythm section provides the base over which screeching guitar builds and releases. And while the singing is in Spanish, you don’t get the impression it’s all hearts and flowers.