Saturday, 9 August 2008
I had previously mentioned three bands that impressed me when I was at the International Pop Overthrow Festival in Liverpool earlier this year. I had intended to continue with my review of current bands at Los Angeles IPO Festival tonight but upon listening to the Gurus most recent CD this evening, I recalled what an engaging performance they had put on back in May and had to make them the subject of my next post.
The Gurus, from Barcelona, have a large following in their native Spain and this was in evidence when they performed that night. Their latest album ''Now" has recently been released and is their third on the USA label Rainbow Quartz.
Although I didn't realise it when I began this piece, they have actually been around for ten years. In 1998 they released their debut 'En La Oscuridad' on Bip Bip where all the songs were sung in their native Spanish. The CD captures the freshness and vitality of the first Beatles records and might remind one of the Spongetones who have also tried to capture the essence of the Beatles in their music.
"Seras parte de mi" could have been recorded back in 64 but then again there were no Spanish groups back then that so accurately encapsulated that Merseybeat sound! Despite the fact that they are singing in Spanish one hears the obligatory "yeah yeah yeah" in their song "Escaparme" which captures the Beatles sound before the Rubber Soul /Revolver era. "Palabras Para Ella" makes me think that they were trying to capture an early love song that could have been sung by McCartney perhaps Michelle? Or they heard the track sung by Gilbert O'Sullivan "Clair". I love the intro of "Cuando tu no estas" which is very catchy. The song features hand clapping which was so common in early Beatles songs and one so rarely hears that in many songs anymore. "Hotel Codorniz" sports a trumpet a la Penny Lane and has the feel of Beatles music that would have been released between 65 and 66. "Deja Que Te Arrastre Junto a Mi" could have been written by Ray Davies and is quite brilliant! One of the standout tracks for sure on this CD is "Dias De Lluvia" which has a melody that reminds me of "And I Love Her". The melody in "La Calle" brings to mind the Raspberries who attempted to capture the freshness and vitality of the Beatles but at the time weren't fully appreciated. After familiarizing myself with the Gurus earliest music I wish they had played a few songs from this early period when I saw them in May. This first CD of theirs is truly a gem but it may be difficult to find but it's worth the hunt.
[Due to the amount of research undertaken to rectify some inconsistencies with the bands' discography, this longer than usual post will be split into two parts. Here endth part one.]