Santa Nalga, Meneo

SANTA NALGA, MENEO
DressForExcessRecords, Spain/Guatemala
Rating: 63
by Andrew Casillas

Carlos Reyes, in addition to being one hell of a site runner, is also a great salesman. When he “asked” whether I wanted to review this album from Spanish via Central American electro-rock band Meneo, all he told me was that it was called Santa Nalga, and that it was “quite good.” Well, that’s all that I needed to hear. Seriously, why didn’t anyone else come up with that album title first? I’m looking at YOU Molotov (and also Genetallica). So applause to Meneo on that front. But sadly, the title may be the best thing about this album.

Not that it’s AWFUL per se. Meneo is the latest band to attempt to bridge the gap between Nintendo-beat programming and electro party pop, and for the most part succeed in making a satisfying party record. It all sounds fine as it’s going through your speakers, which is a satisfying accomplishment no doubt, but you’ll be hard pressed to recall any of it once the record finishes. Perhaps this could be attributed to the clear rawness of the band’s aesthetic, particularly their minimalist approach to programming, but for the most part, the album lacks a visceral component—something that’ll act as a counter to the clean and crisp sounds emanating from the speakers. The band seems to be trying to make a record for sweaty dancefloors, but there’s very little to grind to.

In fact, Meneo’s better tracks seem to come when they are at their most straightforward. “Licuadora” is a slick little opener, with its recurring dog barking, modal bassline, and sinister vocals. Likewise, “Subidon” takes a turn towards standard song structure, but packs it with nuanced percussion and intriguing leftfield noises that make it great to slot between Flex and Pitbull at your next house party. Ultimately, this record establishes a band with its fair share of progress, like a more primitive Crystal Castles. But as any indie follower can tell you, there are far too many bands trying to be Crystal Castles out there. I’m sure that next time, Meneo will come with a record that’s just as good as their album title.

5 comments :

Carlos Reyes said...

I liked it a little more than you did, but I've had this for a while, got very confused honestly so I didn't want to write about it. I think it works as an idea, the execution isn't as good as most people are saying.

But yeah, it's quite good.

Antonio Gallardo said...

Muchas bandas tratando de ser Crystal Castles y todas igual de pésimas.

Alberto said...

YO!

I must disagree on how much their tracks float on your mind after hearing them...specially if you know spanish: Papi & Mami are sort of anthems for their lyrics..just check its videos!

Then, I feel the review totally underestimates the band's personality...they're are neither dj's producing dancefloor banger nor Crystal Castles wanna be's (everyone using 8bit synths is?) >>>
they have a really personal way of elaborating tracks and perhaps the rawness of their live performance just sums all up, specially when playing naked with the beats exploding directly from a gameboy.

Amylulita said...

okay, just thought I'd add my two cents about Meneo seeing as I'm a fan:) I found out about them about back in December '08 when they played the Blip Festival in NYC: http://blipfestival.org/2008/

I contacted them to ask for permission to spin some tracks. After listening to the music they sent I must admit I wasn't blown away, but I instantly LOVED the song "Okupa". Music video: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x56mf5_meneo-okupa-squatters-story_music

The song "Mami" isn't my fav, but I do like another song titled "Papi". Music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upy-fRDnPVY

I've spun both songs at Nacotheque parties and everyone always starts dancing whether they know the songs or not. That's when I know a song is gonna make it on the dance floor cause before anyone knows who it is the beat is already making their culos move!

So maybe all their music can't be awesome, but I'm always for one hit wonders;)

Ethien said...

this review sucks...how can this guy never underline the fact that MENEO is the only lo-fi latin music artist?

can't he point out that it's not pop or disco or electro but rather reggaetón and boleros on chiptune synths?

how odd is to say all chiptune is a copy of Crystal Castles...aren't they a copy of Ben et Bene then?

the only thing clear to me is that Mr Andrew Casillas doesn't understand neither the lyrics or where this album comes from and who is arriving to!

Meneo is an eye opener wherever his sound plays and this you can't say while seating in front of a laptop on a fat ass!

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