GsshGssh Records, Spain
Rating: 82 ★★★★
by Carlos Reyes
If the waters of compositional avant-pop heaven were to congregate Los Planetas with Animal Collective and El Guincho, it would sound something like Prisma En Llamas. This hot new band from Madrid hints back to some of the late 90s art-rock, to that exciting time frame that anticipated a new millennium by wanting to jump into the future while dragging the goodies from the past. Aeropuerto Extrañamente Blanco converges the spacious conditions of a band that can be both, catchy and abstract, delivering uneasy songs heavy on harmonies and vocal assembly, while keeping an indeterminate idiosyncratic profile sure to surprise more than a few.
Aside from its brave intentions, Prisma En Llamas’ splendorous debut EP takes on a challenge, to emulsify pop tropicalia without subordinating the roomy opportunity to make a personal record. It is in this way that they are able to get away with such a dense song like “HMS” without an ounce of alienation. It’s almost as if their water current was melodically-resistant to an assorted land of baroque-pop, embattled ambient, and scattered noise coming out of their systems and the 4-track recorder they used to record the album. Opener “Hay Una Selva” is a bouncy lo-fi piece that gets everything right, a song that may very well reference Pavement and Brian Wilson despite its fuzzy production.
Prisma En Llamas’ members Hugo and Pablo aren’t the most experienced guys out there, but they demonstrate plenty of skill as members of their side bands Margarita and Ensaladilla Rusa. “Adolf” is an incredibly catchy song; it starts very Animal Colletive-nesque (a lo “Peacebone” & “In The Flowers”), it finds common ground as it progresses its ideas throughout the song, eventually transforming into a bizarre flamenco moon-trip. Perhaps the only drawback in this album is the lack of a lyrical narrative arc to string the songs as a whole. Still, the individual pieces shine in lyrical power; “Oxido” synchronizes the ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ chorus with a Santa Claus costume and in “El Primer Amor del Lobo”, they talk about getting ‘half-way dumb-high’ through the inhaling of glue. They do a phenomenal job with the sound design and aesthetics, but the abundance of lyrics suggests there is an essential lyrical reading to be made.
This isn’t a conceptual or chronological set of songs; it’s rather, a dynamic clash of seven songs disposing a purpose for actual substance. We fell in love with “Cadete” so much that it became our seventh compilation’ theme and one of our favorite features: “In less than 3 minutes, the band builds, chases, encapsulates and discharges sound. Aeropuerto Extrañamente Blanco is only 13 minutes long, rarely has a band revealed so much at such conditions and resources, simply gorgeous.