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(37:07 / Viajero Inmovil Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Esta Proximo et Momento 3:50 2. En Cualquier Siglo 3:25 3. Cuatro Movimentos Breves 6:55 4. Sin Tiempo Ni Espacio 5:10 5. Siempre Encontrare Un Lugar 4:10 6. Destinada a Fracasar 4:55 7. Como Una Rueda 2:10 8. Noche De Sol 6:55 LINEUP: Alfredo Campanelli - guitar; vocals Oscar Paulini - guitar; vocals Hector Guerrero - violin Agustin Guitierrez - bass; backing vocals Jose Hernandes - drums; backing vocals
Prolusion. The heroes of this occasion are obscure vintage Argentinean one-shot LOS BARROCOS and their assuredly sole album, "Sin Tiempo Ni Espacio", which is now available in a digital format - for the first time since its original LP edition in far-distant 1974. Curiosity is the word - let's try to estimate whether the CD is really worth buying.
Analysis. While being strongly inspired by English progressive Hard Rock, Los Barrocos effectively created a high-energy music that is almost exclusively their own; at least, it's free of anything that would allow me to call its makers even followers of anyone else. Well, when listening to the album, I was more than once reminded of Pavlov's Dog's debut outing, "Pampered Menial" (which was released shortly after "Sin Tiempo Ni Espacio"), but I don't think the bands were ever mentally sharing their ideas with each other:-). The resemblance can only be traced in the violin-laden movements, which leads me to the thought that the violinists of these groups, Hector Guerrero and Siegfred Carver respectively, are both just classically trained musicians, having additionally a similar approach to playing the instrument. Anyway, I haven't found any obvious weak spots on this recording, even though some of its eight tracks are less progressively saturated than the others. The shortest ones, En Cualquier Siglo and Como Una Rueda, are both refined art-rock ballads with some really beautiful interactions between violin, two guitars and bass, evolving more often independently than with support on the part of the drums. Just as are most of the other songs, none of these is overloaded with vocals - unlike the hard-rocker, Destinada a Fracasar, which however leaves a rather pleasant impression despite its abundance in singing. Hector Guerrero works wonders here, soloing non-stop and highly resourcefully alike - throughout, the violin in his hands sounding just inimitable on this track. Like a wild horse galloping among docile ones, it crosses the length and the breadth of the song's basic constructions with mind-blowing, at times seemingly impossible parabolas. Siempre Encontrare Un Lugar and Noche De Sol (which reveals an effective drum solo shortly before its finale) are both structurally similar to the previously described tune, in which, however, all similarities between these and Destinada a Fracasar are finished. There are too few violin patterns on each of these to take into consideration, but nevertheless, each is a positively intricate composition, approaching early Rush in diversity, featuring enough dynamic transitions to fully correspond with my concept of genuinely progressive Hard Rock. However, it is still the tracks where the violin is a highlight that are the true standouts, namely Esta Proximo et Momento and Sin Tiempo Ni Espacio. Each begins with some unison, typically hard-rock movements, which, however, are not to be repeated later on. The group jumps with ease from one section to another, now suddenly slackening their pace, now accelerating it, bravely pushing the boundaries of the style, frequently venturing on adventurous maneuvers within classic art-rock traditions, though the music remains hard somewhat more often than not. The only instrumental piece, Cuatro Movimentos Breves, is made up exclusively of art-rock-like structures and was probably intended to become the group's progressive opus magnum. Indeed, there are a lot of different themes to be found here, frequently interchanging with each other, those with the violin hovering over marching drums being especially impressive. But since the music is mostly slow, plus somewhat lacking in inner coherence, the overall picture appears to be somewhat sketchy. In the end, this tune is somewhat inferior to the best four ones, but surpasses the other three.
Conclusion. As I've more than once praised the violin work above, I find it essential to note that all the members of Los Barrocos are in fact competent musicians, equally proficient in technique, successfully avoiding many standard cliches of the style they'd chosen. Overall, their "Sin Tiempo Ni Espacio" is a pleasing echo of the distant past of the genre and is generally a pretty good and original thing, which will be an exciting journey at least for those who appreciate polymorphous Hard Rock with vivid progressive tendencies.
VM: March 30, 2007
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