Juventud de la Gran Ciudad – CD (available May 13th, 2017) //
DD (released December 2, 2016)
Necio Records – CD released May 13, 2017
Reviewed By Santiago “Chags” Gutierrez
KNEI comes to us from Argentina, a country that has recently seen a resurgence in its music scene. Juventud de la Gran Ciudad comes courtesy of power trio Nicolas Lippoli (guitar/vocals), Mauro Lopez (bass), and Roberto Figueroa (drums). On just their second full length (La Puera del Sol being their debut back in 2011) they have already established a rather unique sound. What you get here is 70’s inspired classic rock that incorporates a well balance of psychedelic, blues and jazz-like touches.
Their musical prowess shines through on first track, “Juventud de la Gran Ciudad.” Clocking in at over eleven minutes, it showcases their full arsenal of writing skills. It centers, as most good rock songs do, on a powerful riff and adds time changes, experimentation, varied rhythms, and a feel of improvisation. “Vidas Pesadas” follows suit with an unmistakable 70s/psych touch that turns into a fantastic jam session. “Rock de la Mujer” incorporates a bluesy touch, yet ends in wonderful fashion as KNEI playfully interact with their musical ideas. Three tacks in and the listener is already getting lost in the arrangements KNEI has on offer.
“El Inentendido” is yet another blues infused track with great progressions throughout that continue to showcase the bands ability to guide the listener through the architecture of their arrangements. “Los Demonios” follows with a straight-ahead rock approach that incorporates a galloping bass line bordering on doom. Progressive tendencies show up again on “No Te Asustes Ya Mas, Loco”, each member having a chance to shine at different points throughout the track. You can sense how the members have an almost telepathic relationship as they playfully seem to bounce ideas off one another. “La Tumba” closes the album in glorious fashion, KNEI proving they undoubtedly belong among the higher echelon of current rock bands.
Every track on this record is egregious, KNEI having a knack for taking astounding musical ideas and yet achieving a smooth listening experience. Sung entirely in Spanish, this is still well worth checking out if Spanish is not among your linguistic skills. Lippoli providing an apt vocal style that fits in perfectly with what is going on musically. And what a musical journey it is. If this wasn’t released digitally at the tail end of 2016, it easily would be on my current 2017 “best of” list. ¡Provecho!