Producciones Doradas, Spain ***
By Carlos Reyes
Prior to Joe Crepusculo’s 2008 double feature (Escuela de Zebras + Supercrepus) and the resulting recognition that placed him on pop star status last year, he was part of Tarantula; one of the most discussed bands in Spain’s indie and responsible for one of the most memorable dissections among music critics. Truth is, Tarantula is far away from Crepusculo’s charming techno, this is freaky rock that asks for too much attention. While the self-serving allure proves to be an assertion for music itself, Tarantula’s Esperando a Ramon (2006) took it to the extremes falling into a mind-numbing and confused first LP. Humildad Trascendental is an improvement, for one they’re not trying to make a stance on what popular music should sound like, and so they get rid of the excessive gloom to present a joyful posture that will hopefully transcend through songs and not just personality. I wish Crepusculo would take charge of the main vocals since I find his voice to be stupidly charming, but I guess it doesn’t matter who is singing, they make it clear that their enlightening lyrics and heavy percussions will be enough to assimilate a couple of anthems. First track “Antisistema Solar” is galactic and an approximation to what aliens would see as western music. It is followed by “Gusano”, which interesting enough reminded me of a current Mexican Banda radio hit by Fidel Rueda. This is everything I’ve wished to get from Tarantula, a distinctive but crude track on the life of a worm turns to be more interesting that one would think, it’s a personal attack on a creature that “doesn’t smell good or bad … just boring.” The leading single “Con toda la marcha” is a moment of reflexion, in the year 2029 an asteroid will hit earth and awake a generation that still watches the Oscars and Eurovision. But the album becomes boring after a while; it never reduces its humor and futuristic appeal, but 15 songs add up to a very heavy album in need of moisture. There is however a final song that makes up for much of the dryness, their take on “El Vals de las Mariposas” is epic, I must confess I thought this song was written by a Mexican, like Joan Sebastian or something but it’s not, it’s just so damn close to our culture and Tarantula honor Danny Rivera’s song like no one else has probably done.