Lightning in a bottle. That’s it, the only way to describe the folly of capturing Belafonte Sensacional‘s impossibly energetic live show on tape. It could be a Bible truth if it weren’t for the fact that Destroy, their newest EP, manages to catch their fierce sounds.
‘Convocatoria al destroy’ and ‘Ponte al tiro’ are live staples that encompass the diverse influence of each band member, creating a wide palette that can only come from musicians who’ve never said no to a musical genre. The multiple distillation of their own personalities manages to melt beautifully in these two tracks, a exact account of their intensity.
Even on an easy going track like ‘Caramelos de Cemento’, there is an uneasy feeling. Like a knee trembling tic, it keeps the audience on edge. Perhaps it’s a byproduct of Belafonte Sensacional‘s heavy sociopolitical commentary that flourishes in the well-though, dense lyrics they’re known to preach to their a fanbase of zealots and acolytes.
I’d hate to spout a cliché like “mature” in a review, but it’s something that has to be said. Maturity brings confidence to a band, and that always gives a freedom to experiment with sound, even to the point of re-inventing a loved hit. ‘Hay hormigas en el baño, John’ bathes in that creek of 80s Spanish Pop some will never let die. ‘Valedor’ gets re-invented as a hidden track after the bluesy Turkish delight that is ‘Mamadongo’, which skews pronunciation for a heartfelt tribute to our beloved “spanglish”. In fact, this version of ‘Valedor’ simply renders the one from Gazapo null. It’s not a technical knock out, it’s a one punch victory.
On their last album, Gazapo, Belafonte Sensacional were clearly on the right track. With Destroy, the cohesiveness of the band, cemented by a fiery live show, shows clearly, resonating until the unrestful wraiths of the past come out, chains left in their tombs, their bony decayed fingers clapping around to the peppy music and their knees rattling to the beat of a band that captures the madness of Mexico.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López