Superlitio is according to a majority, the new most important alternative band from Colombia, but it took them almost five years to release another album after the highly acclaimed Tripping Tropicana which earned them a Latin Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. Colombian rock seems oddly overlooked, thing is, most of the attention goes to popstars Shakira and Juanes, or the tropi-pop sounds of Fanny Lu and Fonseca. A very good friend from Bogota tells me he is “ashamed” (harsh word) to see that such a mediocre act as Don Tetto is seen as the present and future of his country’s alternative scene, and it really is ridiculous, starting with the fact that Aterciopelados is continuing to make tremendously enchanting albums, too good to start making plans to pass the crown.
Is there is an alternative scene? Yes, (they do run Rock Al Parque, the second biggest music fest in Latin America), but with few picks worthy to check; Colombian press has been fussing around Doctor Krapula but I’m not buying it, Sanalejo is better but not particularly great, so I would point to Cabas, Monareta, Choc Quib Town, Bomba Estereo and Superlitio as the true stars to be proud of. Now getting back to Superlitio, it is nice to see them back; their obscure ska underlined by some colorful synths is their big asset, and expect more of it in Calidosound, which was kindly sponsored by a beer brand and so it was released as a free download. Its biggest strength, the warmth and fluency of their grooves taken to the emergency room by very Ozomatli-like robotic beings that pop up from nowhere. Its biggest weakness, lyrically and vocally the songs sound like those popular wanna-be funny hits by Juanes.
“Perro Come Perro” is a great tropical song, it was written for the film by the same name; let me tell you that movie is not fun, but it’s so raw and completely bonded to this piece of music that is skillfully ornamented by the vigor of its trumpets as if it was a pure salsa, plus the crude story recaps a state of mind in a country known for its violence. Also operating from this theme is the opening track “El Cartucho”, where they want to tell everyone to get those ammunitions out of the eye, to keep them rolling until they’re inexistent, only then they’ll be able to smile and get the good times rolling. “Favorite Song” sums up the album as a common place, it aims for freedom but it doesn’t quite get there, but it does release a couple of tracks that merit a dance floor and the attention of those looking for optimism.