Reptilectric, Zoe

REPTILECTRIC, ZOE
Home Artists, Mexico

Rating: 80

By Carlos Reyes

It seemed impossible, but Zoe has surprised us with a brilliant follow up to Memo Rex Comander y El Corazon Atomico de la Via Lactea, I’m not kidding, this is their fourth and best LP yet. I don’t know if Zoe will ever transcend as much as Café Tacvba, but they already are the most popular band in Mexico and along with Austin TV the most important (but hardly the best). Reptilectric is the rhythmic burst consolidation of a cosmos they have been referring to in Rocanlover (2003), The Room EP (2005), and Memo Rex... (2006). The comparisons with Gustavo Cerati and Radiohead will continue, but this guys are spacing up roads for themselves. They are setting up parameters for a constant musical search, Reptilectric isn’t divergent or explorative, but it is a consummation album, calling it mature wouldn’t be enough, it’s the emancipation of lyrics and sound and especially a coordination on how to accommodate sound and silence.

An album defined by guitar riffs and electronic add-ons, round and bold throughout and even glossily dramatic. In spite of the overall bustling intensity, this is the most sober and finest hour of Zoe yet. I loved the catchiness of the last album’s singles, but the new material is a succession of soft dynamic melodies that are naturally memorable. Reptilectric should give Zoe enough critical glamour and importance as what Hombre Sintetizador did to the now dispersed Zurdok. At first listen the single didn’t make any sense to me, I tried to Google it and it seems Zoe has invented a word/species/new god? : reptile + electric. “Reptilectric, welcome to earth”, the song goes from confusion to illusion, seems like Zoe is waiting for the arrival of a prophet from another galaxy. As if they run out of patience with other gods and have transported themselves to a new cosmos; they ask for more love and less pain, to make them forget about everything that makes suffering. I like this new messiah, this “messenger of light”.

In songs like “No Hay Dolor” and “Nada” there is an overlapping execution that grabs your attention only to dissolve in the space of cosmic harmonies. Vocalist Leon Larregui extends vocal fading and accentuates the melodies, very much like Gustavo Cerati was able to achieve in his splendid Ahi Vamos. A song such as “Poli” would be easily overlooked, but unlike most rock albums this year, there is actual emotional tissue connecting all tracks, a roundness I couldn’t find in any of their previous works. The most unexpected song here is “Fantasma”, call me crazy but this piece sounds like a synth-powered Tejano song, just not colorful enough to be instrumented with an accordion. Next is “Luna”, a sublime piece in which they ask the moon for gentle acts of existence, for a kiss that will last until death.

Reptilectric has form; the album cover suggests it is a prismatic album. It is indeed a polished jewel and the entering of light is definitely felt, even more as it is sunlight coming in other than artificial lighting. The album retains colors, frictions, vibrations and musical notes in a clever musical projection. Another record produced by Phil Vinal (Radiohead, Placebo & Pulp), the band really had a huge shift from their first electrified rock offerings to a much firm state of astronomical cosmos. It took a while for Memo Rex… to be released in the states; Zoe is a sure success in Mexico, but a risky band outside home, so it might take a few months for us to get a physical edition of one of the best rock albums of the year.

7 comments :

Paulo Correa said...

Me encantó "Luna" !!!

jean-stephane said...

I guess I'm gonna have to warez this one too, I love the first single and like Paulo I loved "Luna"... very nice...

(i don't like the artwork though...)

yeah its chenn said...

i didnt like it at all :(

Carlos Reyes said...

Chenn exijo una explicacion! jajja... de verdad creo que es lo mejor que han hecho hasta ahora.

Their whole galactic themes finally made sense, it took them 3 albums to get to this one, a very concrete consumation and one of the year's best.

However, it will be hard for them to convince me on a next album, because the next one should step aside from that world they created, I mean, their Messiah "REPTILECTRIC" came back already, so a next one should be very heaven-like or more intimate, if they continue with their 'metalic wings', 'sol,luna,estrella' and all that cosmos, they would seem STUCK, and it would be very dissapointing.

Chenn said...

I think we have a next Saul Hernandez on its way..different genra though..but Leon is heading that way lyric wise..

Couple of reasons why i didnt like it, but first of all i think that they shoulve sounded more unique in this album. Bits and pieces of their songs sound like other bands, no unique idea defined..but i think they tried to do a concept album and failed right in the middle of it.

Hopefully their trip to their galaxies will reach a pit stop, to reaload for something better.

Sera un exito el disco en Mexico sin duda, porque? think El Nervio del Volcan..Caifanes hajaj...

Carlos Reyes said...

Interesante... interesante...

Not another Saul Hernandez please! I don't hate him, but he became a lost child among all his messy career, don't get me wrong, he had a vision at some point, but people must stop venerating his music, he's blind now.

It actually sounds a lot more straightforward than all of their previous works, it just worked for me. But again, after this one, they should take a shower.

notisonicomoderator said...

Veo que ingles no es su primer idioma chicos. Por que no hacer los comentarios en español, si es que es su 1er idioma...espero.

En lo que si estoy de acuerdo es en que Reptilectric es el mejor album de Zoe hasta ahora. Nada y Sombras son mis favoritas hasta ahora

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