Five Spanish Songs EP
Nov 26, 2013 Issue #48 - November/December 2013 - HAIM
Dan Bejar shows a little love for an influence and takes a break from English with a handful of covers, deeming the English language "spent, despicable, not easily singable" and "good for business transactions, but that's about it." We could all stand a break, honestly—let an adjective count on this review alone serve as proof. Ample proof.
Yes—breaks are good for the soul, as is the discovery of someone like Spain's Antonio Luque, aka the guiding force of Sr. Chinarro. Luque is known for surreal, ironic, and cryptic lyrics (remind you of anyone?). Whether or not you require Google's assistance in understanding said lyrics shouldn't affect your enjoyment here as a fan of Bejar's singular touch.
"Del Mont—n" was a Spanish-language Magnetic Fields in its original incarnation, with Luque's taste for darker '80s flavors on display, and a voice at least an octave down from Bejar's. The Destroyer version slows it down, swings it a little, and gives it a jazz-guitar backbone. "El Rito" is taken from its Flamenco-tinged, group-vocal origin to fuzzed-out guitar pop, but leaves the steady handclaps intact. Surrealistic post-punk number "Bye Bye" gets a treatment worthy of its name—gentle, closing-time/album-closer wistfulness. Last call. Speaking of which, Mr. Bejar's wrapping up 2013 with an acoustic tour, then taking a siesta 'til 2015. Okay, that siesta part may have been made up. Vaya con Dios. (www.mergerecords.com/artists/destroyer)
Author rating: 7/10