Release date : 17 January, 2018
Years go by and Valencia is still one of Spain’s most interesting musical hubs. Years go by and Cuello still prove to be one of the CITY’s most solid bands, do not expect surprises, but do expect a never disappointing José Guerrero (Cuello, Betunizer, Jupiter Lion, Segunda Persona, Rastrejo, La Orquesta del Caballo Ganador) leading the band, with his permanent hyperactivity and state of grace, always ready to bring us a handful of good new songs and exceptional melodies. We are used to an album per year —”Mi Brazo Que Te Sobre” (BCore, 2013), “Modo Eterno” (BCore, 2014) and “Trae Tu Cara” (BCore, 2015)—, this time, the four members of Cuello have taken a bit more as usual due to external reasons, even though Jose already had nine songs tucked away safely and waiting.
Also, unlike previous albums, the band have recorded with production guru Paco Loco, linked more to the pop genre than Pablo Peiró, the bands previous producer and bass player in Betunizer. At this stage, this “Regalo Doble” (BCore, 2018) is the confirmation –in case there was anybody left that hadn’t realized it yet- that we are before one of the most renowned musicians in the country’s independent music scene. Guerrero is an artist with his own, distinctive style, who seems touched by a magical wand when playing guitar, singing and writing.
But don’t be fooled, its not all magic, it’s also many hours of hard work. And Jose works. Born in the underground, he is a compulsive devourer of music and concerts, leading him to create his own identity, style, and his own art. Music is his life, and even more since the day he decided to leave behind his life as an engineer to become a music laborer with a thousand projects. You have to feel a lot of passion to do something like that in Spain, a country that doesn’t precisely standout for supporting its culture.
In contrast to the experimental games and collective improvisation that rule his other projects (Betunizer, Jupiter Lion or Rastrejo), with Cuello, Jose brings the songs thought through and ready for the rest of the band, with structures closer to classical rock –even though his peculiar way of playing guitar is far from it- and melodies created to sound as different as possible to their forefathers, melodies that search for a unique voice, a strange voice, full of vitality, a voice always reaching to leave its comfort zone. Once in the rehearsal studio, the song structures are twisted towards pop genres (with influences such as Weezer’s ‘Blue Album’, Guided By Voices or Superchunk) by four musicians known for their visceral punk background. Remember that among them is Oscar Mezquita, known as drummer of Zanussi, the best crust band in the country; the imaginative guitarist Ubaldo Fambuena, lover of the dirtiest and greasiest blues, and sturdy base player Nick Perry, intense as a weekend on the ‘ruta del bakalao’ in 1987. The pack is completed with Jose Guerrero’s individual lyrical universe, lyrics that tend to be more visceral and comical when writing songs for Betunizer, but more focused on emotions and vital, internal struggles when writing for Cuello.
Whatever the theme, it’s an extremely personal style without comparison, short and direct verses that are suggestive, provoking, and disjoint, full of second meanings and always looking for the surprise factor. A game of provoking and reacting. Not understanding and understanding it all. At least that’s what we think.