In the past couple of years, Venezuela has proven to be the new punk capital of South America, in my humble opinion. First came La Vida Bohème, then the now-defunct Elaine and, out of the ashes of that last band, arose Roy Valentín. In the true spirit of punk, Roy Valentín is the anti-hero that destroys the world with three chords, a good drum beat, and snappy, tongue-in-cheek lyrics that could please all us malcontents. This is evident in his debut EP, Música/Corazón.
Before I go any further, I commend Roy Valentín because he had the audacity to shout from the rooftops what I, at some point, lacked the courage to admit: he hates The Strokes with unprecedented passion. Yes, that quintessential New York band gets parodied to death in the second track of the EP, appropriately titled “Let’s Hate the Strokes Together.” According to Valentín’s Facebook page, the song was made while he was goofing around with his guitar and “in two minutes, I already had the generic sound of a lot of the songs that this band plays.” These harsh words are made even harsher (if that’s possible) by the song, in which Valentín imitates Julian Casablanca’s lo-fi, filtered voice, while singing unintelligible lyrics. To drive his point home, he samples the drumbeat from the Buzzcocks’ “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays.” This is the song and sound, he claims, that the Strokes based their career around. Tell us how you really feel, Roy.
The EP closes with “GmFm,” a song that samples the Bauhaus classic, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” I’m genuinely surprised that he managed to make Bauhaus sound even darker with that pulsating bass line. Valentín’s voice comes in at 1:23, distorted and distant, singing about how “this is your song.” The track is almost hypnotizing in its repetitiveness and yet, it doesn’t feel like he was phoning it in. The song progresses naturally into the obscure until it fades out into noise.
Música/Corazón is the type of music that makes me miss the moshpit so, so much. But, more importantly, it’s the kind of punk rock that very few people are making right now: raw, iconoclastic, and lo-fi to the core. It’s all destruction and no apologies.