Futura Vía, Bam Bam
Arts & Crafts, México
by Enrique Coyotzi
Albums that are determined to become legendary milestones seem to be appearing less frequently during the 21st century. With the immediacy of the Internet, as listeners, we consume a bigger number of projects than we did during our adolescence by just watching MTV. In the thousands of MP3s by countless artists, most are forgettable, ephemeral movements whose days are numbered. But a few reveal themselves as classics that may even transcend into consolidated sub-genres. Monterrey’s beloved indie rockers Bam Bam surprised music blogs with their fascinating self-titled debut EP, astonishing indie circuit geeks with fresh, out-of-this-world grooves. Although their success was moderate, hopes for the regiomontanos to release an even more impressive first full-length were in. And Bam Bam has surpassed all expectations, opening an exciting new chapter in Mexican rock history with the stellar Futura Vía, a psychedelic pop record equivalent to an intergalactic experience.
Under the assistance of veteran Mexican producer Martin Thulin, Bam Bam’s ambitious approaches have resulted in a conceptual recording that alters the senses, sucks the body inside of its sonic textures and transports the spirit into unknown, unexplored dimensions. Album opener “Metatrón, Hijo Estelar” starts with a celestial chant that quickly explodes into drilling noise, while a soothing melody shows up that lifts toes from the ground, straight out of the atmosphere. Stepping into spellbinding territory, “Hipnódromo” is a tune about shapes that provides one of the catchiest choruses and polysemic lines on the record, “¿entonces qué? estás como un ser inmortal/ausente de la gravedad." “¡Depocalipsis, Joderowsky!” has to be one of the best mocking song-titles so far this decade. Not as maniacal as its predecessors but no less frenetic, this track jumps into the sublime instrumental piece “Gira, Gira Galileo” whose speed of light build up leads to a glowing section of green-fluorescent synths.
The band also encounters beauty in more mellow, cosmic compositions like “Extraña Coincidencia” and “Fin de la Incertidumbre," which serve as breathtaking moments filled of marvelous harmonies. Longtime Bam Bam supporters will probably miss ex-member Luxor’s distinctive vocal addition to the songs; the truth is, while she did deliver some of the most exceptional moments on Bam Bam, her collaboration isn’t as essential in Futura Vía. Still, the three songs where she lends her vocals do add an outstanding touch to the last half of the record. Her presence is stronger in the mind-blowing, delirious anthem “Abismático," which is probably the catchiest song on the record, along with astounding first single “Ragatrón". Ironically, titled after a Christian rehab church, album closer “Pare de Sufrir” picks up the soothing melody of “Metatrón, Hijo Estelar", only this time around the guitar work blast is much more striking. Then we start to descend until feet touch the ground once again, ending an exceptional ethereal voyage.
Bam Bam have escalated in the indie rock panorama as a visionary ensemble, which recently (after recording the album) lost two of its members; the fascinating vocal harmonious by Luxor, and the frenetic muscle drum skills from Meme. But as seen at recent music festivals, they've structured a top-class new formation (Hypnomango, anyone?), condensing themselves as an even more solid band than they already were and releasing one of the year’s most amazing albums. Futura Vía is bound to be a reference in years to come, a majestic exercise about the universe, a meticulous work in conceptualization, and an undeniably fantastic achievement in the psychedelic field.
Futura Vía, Bam Bam