It’s been awhile since I’ve heard from the Italian label Robot Radio. Some may remember back in ’08 that they released a string of albums that ended up as some of my favorites of the year, most notably in releases from Putefirio and Dead Elephant. A year before however they had released an album by Lucertulas that I’d failed to listen to at that time titled Tragol de Rova. I eventually was able to sit down with it and it turned out to be yet another winner…as was no surprise at that point. Although it’s unfortunate I didn’t hear until much later. So I guess it’s fitting that the band that I last heard and somewhat overlooked on the label is the one that inevitably breaks the silence in what has been a two year absence for Robot Radio. It’s a shame after the excellent track record of releases that they established. So here we are now with a new release from Lucertulas titled The Brawl, which is a joint release between Robot Radio and Macina Dischi. The format for The Brawl is also a bit interesting as nine songs come on a CD and four more Italian versions of songs featured on the disc come on a one sided 12” with a very cool screenprinting job on the other side.
Lucertulas initially grabbed me with their previous album that was a wonderful jumbling of spazzed out noise and sludge. I wouldn’t say that the band has changed all that much with The Brawl, however there is noticeably less sludgy down tempo moments. The trade off though is an album that runs on max energy from start to finish, displaying a flourish of the Skin Graft or Arab on Radar weirdo punk combined with a bit of the Chicago math/noise-rock sound of yore. It’s again an excellent combination and execution of influences and the result of that is an album that sounds lively and fresh thanks to it. Give it a listen.