Discos Laptra, Argentina
Rating: 85 ★★★★
By Carlos Reyes
Aching romance in the midst of an unsettled party-going background, infectious guitar riffs, and cheering kids living the dramatic moment buoy the extraordinary new release by Argentina’s La Ola Que Quería Ser Chau. Just a few months after releasing their coming-of-age teen-dream debut Entre Un Ladron y Una Beba de Seis Meses, the band has surprised us with a new record that can claim to have one great track after another. Like some of their contemporaries (Black Kids, Los Campesinos), it would be extremely easy to dismiss them as plain revivalists, but with this much acquired sonic rupture, their punk-to-disco qualities and their young-blooded progression are just too much of a good thing to overlook.
Películas Caseras is an album about teenage yearning, about the suggestions of post-adolescence and our aspiring new romantics. In an era where portraits have replaced illustrations, La Ola Que Quería Ser Chau are on top of their aesthetic, thinking of the album as an ultra-personal family album. Superman and its fatal substance open the show with a get-the-girl noisy piece, “Kriptonita” fears the weakness of the heart: “superman me conto que ademas de tenerle miedo a la kriptonita, te tenia miedo a vos.” The band has not grown up on its themes, but they’re already extracting subjects on adulthood, like they do in “Teta.” The song is the story of a kid growing up, his mom buys him milk and keeps it in the fridge just so he can grow up healthy, but he’s just not feeling it.
The band seems to be playing adults in “Polacos”, their first approach to scratching political surface, luckily, they approach it as Los Punsetes would do it; on a half reflective, half comical structure, “lejos de cuentos y cartas viejas, somos los nuevos idiotas de hoy.” Their youthful pedigree doesn’t justify for many of the album’s melodramatic moments, but somehow they seem believable on every minute. By far, the album’s essential track is their overwhelming cover of The Flaming Lips’ “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots”, now graciously titled “Rocío Pelea Contra los Robotitos.” It’s still as catchy and melodically flawless, but this time around, they’re not singing about pink cancer cells, but about new social media, “que seria una mierda que nos ganen los robotitos.”
The leading side of Películas Caseras closes with “Hijo Mio”, the most distressing track in the album despite its vigorous hooks and Got Team! Inspired shouts. Some of the album’s most precious moments arrive on the B-Side, comprised of some of their first recordings, including raw demos and live recordings. The warmth of Películas Caseras is the warmth of a jam-packed household of friends and memorable songs. They prove romance is not boring and that every heart-bleeding instance should be confronted, even if that means you’ll keep documenting your revolution with a Sharpie and asking your folks for vitamins.