Mujeres Bellas y Fuertes,
El mató a un policía motorizado
Capital Federal / La Plata, Argentina
by Carlos Reyes
“Let’s be real, half of its merit is in its title.” That’s an unforgettable tweet by Peruvian blog 69 regarding Claudia Lloza’s worldly acclaimed film La Teta Asustada. I used to think the same about La Plata’s rock institution, El mató a un policía motorizado. Despite the memorable name and the intercontinental success of their 2006 hit “Amigo Piedra,” El mató sounded so intimidatingly grounded that it was easier to place them in “respect mode” than to invest time in their actual content. The years have gone by, and that plain respect has turned into deep admiration. Nothing drastic has happened to the band’s themes or aesthetics, the change of heart comes from a generation of indie rock newbies that have finally exchanged the provisional use of handclaps for the stewardship of string progressions.
It’s been four long years since an official release by El mató, and it comes in the form of the two-sided single release Mujeres Bellas y Fuertes. Very few bands sound as bold as El mató, and these two tracks are outcomes of a deep sublimity, one that needs no thematic magnifications or technological extensions to be meaningful. Composer Santiago Barrionuevo has approached domestic violence (title track) and the coming together of two galaxies (“Dos Galaxias”) in ways that strike universal emotional chords. “Screams all night, the neighbor, and a dead body,” sighs the bone-deep track. Eclipsing any more screen time for the abusive husbands, the band goes on to lament and esteem the fallen victims through gorgeous melody alignment. Social discourse (especially on domestic violence) has rarely been accompanied by good music, and never with this much thoughtful restraint. El mató a un policía motorizado never had a more attentive audience. As they put the final touches on a full-length album, we also make preparations for an abiding affair.