Release Date: Aug 26, 2016
Record label: PIAS
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
No one likes being told what to do. When everyone was trying to steer The Parrots in a certain musical direction, they continued defiantly on their own. “The idea of ‘Los Niños Sin Miedo’ [‘The Fearless Children’],” explain the lovably rowdy Madrilenians in a statement around their debut, “came about because in Spain it’s really difficult to make it as a rock ‘n’ roll band” and no one would back them when they started out.
The Parrots are one of the latest trippy, hazy rock ‘n’ roll bands to come out of the booming Catalan rock scene of Spain. Along with the critical acclaim of spunky rock groups such as Mourn and Hinds, The Parrots make similarly jaunty, fuzzy garage rock with a psychedelic edge and a feel-good mentality. Recorded over a single week last September, The Parrots’ debut album Los Niños Sin Miedo encapsulates the “loose-hipped, primordial rock ‘n’ roll” image that the band has come to define themselves by while adding a care-free summer twinge that is impossible to not want to dance to.
The Spanish trio known as the Parrots like their garage rock loose and trashy, enough so that they barely sound in control of their simple, fun-loving songs. The guitars clang and chime in blown-out splendor, the bass is barely audible aside from a thudding sound in the background, and the drums sound like trashcans with half-shattered lids. Above the din, guitarist Diego García howls and yelps like a frustrated hound, shredding vocal chords and probably a mike or two in the process.
From the same Madrid scene as Hinds come The Parrots, a three-piece as in love with scrappy rock’n’roll as their counterparts. On their debut album Los Niños Sin Miedo (which translates into English as The Children Without Fear) they make a convincing case for keeping things fast, loose and free. It’s a record that doesn’t even flirt with the idea of sticking around, clocking in at little over 25 minutes, with its breakneck pace making it feel like it lasts for half that length.
Los Niños Sin Miedo has been a long time coming for Madrid-based garage rockers, the Parrots. Having formed way back in 2008, some would say that the group have been slow to come up with this their first full-length release. Upon listening to the Parrots’ carefree, lo-fi brand of music, however, we begin to feel that this isn’t a band who care for rushing things.
While the rest of us are busy parsing Frank Ocean’s latest opus for meaning, in Spain the dial is firmly tuned to garage rock. Or at least, that’s the impression you get from the country’s two recent musical exports, all-female group Hinds, and fellow Madrid-based outfit the Parrots. While the former muddy their sound with the college rock of Throwing Muses and the Breeders, the Parrots are very much garage rock purists: the only real clue that this, their debut album, was recorded some time in the past 30 years is that one song is titled Windows 98.
There’s something of the night about The Parrots. Not in a sinister, nefarious way - rather their love of all things nocturnal, especially partying and playing rock and roll music. Naturally, on their debut album they sound like they’re doing both simultaneously. Their live show has long been compared to a party and they’ve translated that spirit to the record.
It's been a rather emotional beginning of September for those who are wholly enraptured with Nick Cave's chilling Skeleton Tree. But if you've been looking for some music to decompress with, then the past month featured some rather great offerings. My top choice for the month goes to the singular ….