Trouble in Mind records


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Ahora, Melenas' new record, is the exact opposite of "the difficult third album". While other bands suffer from a lack of inspiration typical of this delicate creative moment, our Spanish quartet appear more invincible than ever, with a collection of stunning songs and revitalized with a magnificent new sonic palette that begs the question: can you do jangle pop and Making garage rock with synthesizers? If you listen to songs like 'K2' or 'Bang', the answer is a resounding yes, because the wonderful thumping of the analogue keyboards that dominate Ahora does not betray the sound of Melenas, that simmering vibration that the guitars have provided so far propelled their songs to pop heaven. The new textures provided by vintage synthesizers such as the Korg Delta or the Yamaha PSR-36 maintain this immediacy and shape fascinating new shades of color, expanding and infusing the band's sonic identity with new nuances, from the crystalline pop of '1986' to the dark but moving undertones of 'Flor de la Frontera'. This new wealth of timbres is also in line with an album on which Melenas have a lot to say: its title (translated "Now"), according to the band, "aims to justify the importance of time in order to reflect on how we live "Everyday life, who we share our moments with and how we want to do it (or not do it)". An exploration of her own identity, her relationships with others, and the meaning of "togetherness, shared feelings, and shared actions." At the same time, the new sounds symbolically deepen these themes: the concept of togetherness is conveyed in the vocal harmonies, which are richer and more sophisticated. The concept of time is conveyed with the help of some amazing sequencers, arpeggiators and mechanical rhythms. Combined with Melenas' pop flair, these elements make many of these songs an exciting mix of darker, machine-like tones (the cold wave echoes of 'Flor de la Frontera', the Kraut rhythm of 'Bang') and ethereal melodies. All this is interwoven with a wealth of dazzling electronic arrangements, perfectly crafted but played with the energy of a live band, in a very post-punk marriage of synthesizers with real bass and drums. The results are such wonders as "Dos pasajeros", "Tú y yo", "1986" or the beautiful "Promesas", the latter a true neo-synth-pop classic. Melenas are more in control of their creative powers than ever before. Not so much to give their music - which is essentially still rooted in a love of pop - a new twist, but to infuse their songs with a new electronic energy and vibe.