La Liberacion - CSS
There was an awkward pause that stretched to a couple of years following the release of Donkey, the second album from Sao Paulo art school grrrl band, CSS. I was beginning to think that they had been swept away in the wave of engineered obsolescence that is today’s pop music machine. But, they’ve just been on the road, attracting more fans and writing the tunes that have become their third release, La Liberacion. There’s something to be said for a band that can make each album sound like it’s their first. The raw and frankly, underwhelming skill level evident on their self- titled debut, Cansei de Ser Sexy was polished up a bit on Donkey but re-emerges on the new disc. That’s not a deal breaker by any means. One of the charms of true punk rock has always been that it is rarely played particularly well. But, musicianship and creative energy aren’t always easy bedfellows either. The alternative is slick, produced safe fodder for the masses which is far harder on the ears. The unbridled experimentation often equated with a first album wins the day over prowess and that’s where CSS excels and La Liberacion exceeds. Opening in a sleazy disco with the synth-driven grooves of Love You and the bouncier, reggae-tinged Hits Me Like A Rock, La Liberacion shifts gears into brash electro-thrash for the first killer track of the disc, City Grrrl. Midway, the band abruptly changes up the sound to vintage-style guitar punk with the title, La Liberacion and all hell breaks loose from there until the final toll, an audio equivalent of trashing your gear called Fuck Everything. Vocalist Lovefoxxx continues to beguile with her bratty delivery and adolescent lyrics. It never comes off as venomous calculation; more like pissed-off and bored school girl. Coincidentally, the only one who appears genuinely pissed is Adriano Cintra, the lone mustachioed male and certified musical mover. The producer and, if you like, director of CSS is rumored to be leaving the ladies because “fame has gone to their heads”. That’s a wikiquote so take it with a shot of rock salt. Crank the snot out of La Liberacion and revel in abandon. It might be a wait until disc number four comes along.