Retroterapia, Los Mundos
Sour Pop Records/Casete, Mexico
by Enrique Coyotzi
Los Mundos set in motion a flourishing career with their convincing self-titled album, a collection of 11 cacophonous pieces that hinted at grandiosity, yet never fully bloomed into real transcendence. The band’s been quite active ever since. In the past two years, they've presented a couple of tight EPs that showed them adapting new versions of their early songs (Mi Propia Banda Quiero Ver) and covering bands that have undeniably defined their sound (Regalando Todo). However, the real task was a sophomore album that didn't feel as unvarying as their debut. Don’t get me wrong, I love the first record, but Retroterapia truly represents the ample canvas eagerly expected from Alejandro “Chivo” Elizondo and Luis Ángel Martínez. Improving their long-distance songwriting formula, Retroterapia finds the duo displaying a gorgeous throwback of delightful compositional dexterity and impossibly amusing lyrics, culminating in the glorious pairing of two of Mexico’s most offbeat minds into full creative synergy.
The first half of Retroterapia stands out as a robust smasher, a vigorous portrayal of splendid songwriting skills dressed by filthy abrasiveness, whimsical self-reflection, and plenty of cranky wit. Opening tracks “Todo te Cobran” and “El Peor” establish a bombastic start, showing the ensemble back in full form. “Mirar Sucio” and “Mini Shorts” are both sexy as fuck. The former is dominated by a powerful guitar riff, which, reinvigorated by Martínez’s I’m-definitely-gonna-fuck-you inviting words, marks the horniest declaration of the band so far. The latter, through its Blur-esque development and giggly, not-as-explicit remarks, flirts with sexually-infused, provocative fashion showoff curiosity. Initial promotional cuts, “Lentes Mágicos,” where Chivo undergoes a spaced-out magic visual trip relying on some pedal shit, and “666,” where Martínez understands how to make a song inspired by the number of the beast a hilarious success (few lines like “Escupiendo flema de color” and “Levitando en tu habitación” commit such comical stretch while remaining so disturbingly dark), are damn rewarding as well.
The second half might appear slightly limp, but not less substantial. Our heroes test the widest ranges of their dreamy textures in tracks like “El Mundo se Viene” and “Retroterapia.” Here, Los Mundos not only conjure majestic walls of sound and a variety of must-get-out-of-your-chest emotions, they also challenge the listener with serious climatic territories that launch the being into some kind of zen state. This characteristic particularly gleams in closer “Eco en la Luz,” an instrumental as exceptional and full of possibilities as El Columpio Asesino’s “MDMA.” On an unconvincing side, it’s notable how the less accomplished takes are the ones regarding pets. “Gato Buena Onda” and “Abraza un Perro,” while nicely executed, stand on the verge of irrelevance and forgettable. Nevertheless, these stumbles aren't much of a blow to Retroterapia. Especially when you have such an outstanding hit like “Morir es Aburrido,” spelling “The Passenger” all over its charming chords.
It seems like Los Mundos’ discourse is finally acquiring some necessary roundness. Retroterapia may carry its flaws, but they ultimately end up overshadowed by the LP's own distinctive energy and alluring delivery, nurtured via the exploration of broader subgenres. Truth is, with this reference—an irrefutable testament that exposes their noteworthy stateliness—they have reaffirmed themselves as an essential force that’s translating many great ideas into magnificent pop tunes, paving a privileged, not-to-be-missed trail in the process.