SELMA OXOR, SELMA OXOR
Nene Records, México ****
By Carlos Reyes
Selma Oxor is the latest release from Nene Records, perhaps the most known Mexican independent label in the states and whose catalog is made up mainly of noise, punk and shoegaze. It’s common to see the bands on its catalog touring on small venues in the U.S. and have become a SXSW favorite, despite all the attention these bands don’t take themselves too seriously bringing total disorder into the scene, and of course we’re welcoming such disarray with open arms. Selma Oxor is the vindication of a blasted youth that has fun exploring rock, techno and pop, an all-in-one much distorted vision that according to their MySpace sounds like “a cow giving birth.”
Selma Oxor is a three-member band from Monterrey that is more familiar to us than we thought; lead vocalist Oxor is also the lead girl of Bam Bam, joining her is no other than Alexico and Violeta from Ratas del Vaticano. It was produced by Mou, one of the best producers in Mexico today, he really is giving rock producers a run for their money, I’d imagine he will be joining Martin Thulin, Yamil Rezc and Emanuel del Real as the ‘cream of the crop’ when it comes to avant-garde manufacturers. Selma Oxor brings some techno and pop into Nene’s catalog, which I’d imagine hardcore fans of the label will disgust, but it’s only proof of an self-rule of freedom they worship above all things, zero boundaries in music is always well greeted.
In its brainstorm of sound we could compare them with Bam Bam of course, but also Sonic Youth, White Denim, Jessy Bulbo and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, all which I find very accessible but flourish in rock’s advancement. The opener “Spend la Noche” starts the show with its parental advisory lyrics that are extremely sexual and cute, pulling off some genius spanglish words I wouldn’t mind adding to my vocabulary such as “withmigo” or the title itself. There are six skits that I must confess, extracted out of my iPod, they showcase the band’s personality and the impulsive energy of the recording but they only work wonders on the first impression, they get too distracting on repeating spins and can be washed out without hurting the actual songs.
“Memo el Gremlin” smells like a perfect single, in its own way I must say, I’m not sure how happy a radio programmer would be to broadcast a song about a gremlin, those mischievous creatures Hollywood popularized and who our singer wants to marry. The beats by Alexico in “Enamorada” show that his Dios Es Lo Maximo! and its 33 tracks worked as an exercise and workshop of unconventional sounds, as the girls in the song fall in love with a trucker man he’s having sex with his beats. You’ll get chills and your heart might pump harder with “Abrazame Demonio”, a moment of useless exertion perhaps, but it is one of those few perfect songs we’ll get to hear this year; it effectively transitions its noisy punk into some kind of urban channel uprising the song into the heavens, will the devil save them from such condition? It’s one of the year’s breakthroughs, let’s burn!