TONAL Y NAGUAL: : La Sierra Mecanica CD Confusibombus
Looking through the press release before hitting ‘play’ the band names ‘Interpol’ and ‘Portishead’ were loosely used as a comparison for some of this acts work; being a fan of both I was more than intrigued; unfortunately this led to a let down.
There is an element of what is playfully termed as ‘intelligent pop’ within the realms of this album and musically in a lot of respects this has been utilised pretty well. There is however one major downside to the whole of this release, namely the vocals which are without a doubt, one of the most feeble attempts at singing I have heard in a while.
Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of bands out there who have bad vocalists, indeed some of the acts that I adore such as Joy Division had a vocalist, who to all intensive purposes really at the bare bones of it all couldn’t hold a note properly; however this worked within the context of all their amazing compositions. Tonal Y Nagual simply seemed to have not just lost the plot where this is concerned, they have had it stolen and buried in some dark hole, far away, never to be found again.
There are some joyfully quirky elements to a lot of the simplistic endeavours going on here and even some of the weak attempts at guitar playing, alongside the cheerful electronics have a certain something to them now and again and could have carried this album, were it not for the incessant moaning that would have worked much more on something tribal and ritualistic.
I just found this album grating and as an introduction to this artist it just reeks of a project that isn’t entirely sure of what it’s trying to achieve.
There is a fine line between artistic wizardry and thespian wank; this is the latter.