It’s a good rule of thumb (or a old wives’ tale) that all fashion/art/music/younameit repeats itself every 20 years. Whatever your take is on this non-written creed, Oso Mugroso have their dirty little paws in a couple of pies, mainly the early grunge of those flannel-clad years, the 90s, in their EP To paint the world in three days.
Who says we don’t appreciate the classics in México? We do, we do…
And it’s a fact that the 8 songs in this release do get the basic essence of that Seattle Spirit of 91 (TM), but add the flair of bluesy solos that were distinctive of the Mexican Rock scene of the early 90s. Without getting into too much history (we are talking about a current release, goddammit!), it sounds like a strange combination, but it works. It’s technically good enough to please the stringheads but still dirty enough for those ones reminiscing of the good ol’ days.
As you can guess from the title, English is spoken is several (okay, 4 and one mixes both languages) tracks in this release. Album opener ‘Until now’ starts with a fiery feedback and from the get go, the production does sound ever-so-90s. I dunno the technical specifications, but it does sound the part. ‘Mixin’ idiots’, is equally aggressive, although the pace is slower, like a smouldering fire. Excellent bass work here.
‘Giraluna’ is probably my fave track here. Starting with a thoughtful arpeggio, it leads to a chord progression that for a few moments pays homage to Pearl Jam‘s ‘State of Love and Trust’ (one of the definitive Grunge tracks, if you ask me). This is Oso Mugroso at its most raw and energetic and this gotta be a delight live (kudos to the drummer for that bit before the outro).
In the tradition of Grunge (proper), there is a good time spent flirting with psychedelia. ‘Buen México’ is your hallucinogenic drink, an Absinthe-like track with a stream-of-consciousness delivery, a pounding, overdriven guitar tone and again, some punchy drumming. ‘Aquí, ella es lo mismo’ is similar in structure, but less psychedelic. Cool solo in this one.
There’s two quieter tracks and they are stuck in the ending, so if you were looking for a full-blown noisy EP, this is where the release will falter for you. However, if you want to see if the band is willing to challenge themselves and play around with genres (and loose the distortion for a while), this is the moment you wanted to hear. ‘Fishu’ is the thoughtful ditty, full of longing and ‘Hoy Bien’ is Oso Mugroso going tribal for a few moments (you can even smell the incense…and the Negra Modelo being imbibed). It’s very psychedelic and trippy, a perfect way to finish this EP.
To paint the day in three days is a good release that taps into the well-known (and proven) grounds of grunge, with a couple of ventures into psychedelia just ‘cuz. It’s nice to see bands like Oso Mugroso kicking around in the Mexican scene, let’s hope we get varied stuff like this.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López