This is the second release from Montoya to pass through my
hands. The first didn't inspire me to really write anything, and was
relegated to our Bargain Basement where it met with similar shrugs
from the CO South music team.
"Little Maniac" has changed my opinion of this duo of
Peruvian immigrants. As of this writing, it is IMHO, the most unique
and original song of the album. It's dark and urgent. Synthy, but
not New Wave. The lyrics tell of a man's obedience to a dominating
woman. He bows his head in obeisance, but wishes the leash were
a little longer. The music aptly captures his total compliance to
and overwhelming obsession with this imposing woman. Par Excellence!
But one song doesn't carry an album. A more understated assortment
of tracks follows that contains a fire of slow-burning embers. If
there's an overall aspect of Montoya to be impressed with, it's evident
in the fact that they have managed to synthesize something from nearly
every aspect of 40 years of American Rock & Roll and Folk. On
"Slow Fade to Black" they show their immigrant colors with
a hearty Latin beat and organ accompaniment. "Que Pasa Chichi?"
has a low-slung and dirty-rock'n attitude one might expect to come
blaring out of a Cheech Marin low-rider. "Stranded",
the very next track, does an about face with a light and fragile,
almost emo, ballad that cries out for a lost love. "Tu y la Soledad":
I had to laugh aloud at the obvious The Who moment that sounds
like it came right out of Tommy. A sly tip of the hat to a
great band from across the Atlantic.
But the real masterpiece of this album just might be "Savannah."
It's a simple song, musically, but the aching and regretful lyrics
of a soldier executed for defending the honor of a woman who was
nothing more than a common whore is probably the most powerful statement
in an album filled with woe and loss. Completely deflated, his execution
is almost anticlimactic.
1. Little Maniac
2. Johnny's Cool
3. Fire on the Field
4. Under Ground
5. Slow Fade to Black
6. A Dying Affair
7. Que Pasa Chichi?
10. Tu y la Soledad
11. The Load
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