Luz De Gas – EP 2020
Punk is still a movement that’s in a constant flux: punks are always moving, creating and reflecting. Sometimes it might seem conservative in its own chaotic ways, yet it still remains disruptive and provocative, always energetic, clashing between a raging apathy and a driving hope; always in a dialogue, evolving through words and actions. Punk […]
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Title: EP 2020
Release: Tape / Digital
Label: Junko Records
Punk is still a movement that’s in a constant flux: punks are always moving, creating and reflecting. Sometimes it might seem conservative in its own chaotic ways, yet it still remains disruptive and provocative, always energetic, clashing between a raging apathy and a driving hope; always in a dialogue, evolving through words and actions. Punk is a youth movement in its purest sense. You can hear the sound of its footsteps against the pavement. It’s running, but not because it is in a futile race against an unknown unstoppable force but because it has to run. There’s no other way.
It’s a craving that can’t be satisfied, it’s within the gut: there’s an engine inside its body and it can’t be turned off. Let me see anyone try doing it, they won’t be able to. No matter what we do, this passion will keep going on and on. It will appear in all kinds of sizes and shapes, it will keep moving like a virus, that is spreading endlessly. And we are in the middle of it. We are part of it, it runs through us. It uses our own bodies to keep itself alive, our organisms are filled with it and it’s mixed with our blood. We feel it, we live it, and we feel how others live with it too. There’s an inevitable relationship there. When we hear one of numerous new releases that appear every day, we connect with all of that. We’re part of it. And so is this new band from the long country of Chile, that we’ll be checking out right now.
Luz De Gas is a hardcore punk band formed in 2018 in the Biobío region, south from the capital of Chile, Santiago, by Muriel (vocals), who’s playing in a band for the first time and made the artwork for the self-titled EP under the name Lerimu Plenilunio, Felipe (guitar), who used to play bass in the shoegaze/emo band Lejanía and the melodic hardcore punk band Fantasma, Victoria (bass), who’s playing in a band for the first time, and Javiera (drums), who used to play in the punk band Las Kalilas and plays piano in her solo project. They’ve never changed members (who, as you can see, come from different backgrounds) and are still going at it despite the circumstances, the Covid-19 pandemic and everything in between. It’s not easy to keep a band together in these times, everything seems confusing and nebulous, and it’s hard to rehearse due to distance and the general difficulties of travelling. However, these ones still have a lot to say and have no intention to back down. There are fires that just refuse to go out and those are my favorite ones to look at.
This 2020 EP is their debut, which was released by the always incredible Junko Records. It consists of seven agitated tracks of a shaky atmosphere, a tumultuous and rowdy feeling that shakes the listener really good with their grainy, loud, overdriven instruments, a compressed sound that imitates something about to explode, a ticking bomb ringing in your ears ready to blow out. The intro is the first signal, and then we are hit by explosive vocals, rabid uncaged yells, dissonant and displaced, a force that’s constantly trying to escape something that lingers over them, casting a big, scary, dark shadow, which was born from the weight of the rhythm of the modern world and their constant conflicts. There’s movement in the way the phrases are composed and the tones waver and oscillate. Above all, there’s a wild and intense fierceness to them. They’re certainly a highlight of what we hear in this release.
Of course, there’s also the lyrics. Sexism, power, the male-gaze and double standard in “Los Machos Celebran” (Males Celebrate), “Bajo El Regimen” (Under The Regime) and “Público Mixto” (Mixed Audience). Repression, liberation and connecting with your own emotions in “Sentir” (To Feel). Anger, rage, and fury in “Demolición” (Demolition) and “Ni Una Garantía” (No Guarantee); all in all, a bubbly thick mixture of heavy emotions.
It’s a lie, I can’t decide
I don’t have your privileges
The last song synthesises most of the emotions found throughout the EP and wraps this record up perfectly. The world’s trying to deceive you and you’re trying with all your might to stand strong and face it. Sometimes you feel so tired and worn out, but there’s no other way. You go, you run, you fall and get up, and then keep going. You’re more agitated and dizzier but with your mind and heart set to your goal.
The sound of this record might not be too different from what many 80s bands have already done but discovering the wheel is not what it is about here. This is hardcore punk, nothing more, nothing less, as simple as that.
In a record that spans just a bit over ten minutes you can experience a stream of thoughts (not only in terms of lyrics, but also thoughts in the form of sounds coming from the instruments), which wander curiously through one of the weirdest times in history, and from a marked South American perspective. It’s dislocated, disjointed, but somehow still a record that feels perfectly glued together. You can see (in the images it evokes) and hear what separates us, but also what unites us. Fragile lines drawn in the sand that can change in any minute. And I’m really glad I had the chance to be a part of it just by listening to this music, interpreting and understanding it, and then writing about it.
The tape release is available from Junko Records. Support DIY Punk!