During a quick research, I kept stumbling upon blog post after blog post profiling the Venezuelan indie underground saying one of two things: 1) Maracaibo is one of the coolest and most happening cities in Venezuela, and 2) Marabino rock band Tlx are the under-the-radar kids spearheading a new type of indie rock, much different from the one that reaches the masses. I can’t verify the first statement, but the second one is pretty much on point. It helps that the band’s frontman, Heberto Añez, founded the Entorno Doméstico collective/netlabel that’s given us such gems as Roy Valentín, Cancioneira, and Ulises Hadjis. So, after not releasing new material for three years-–their last effort was the acclaimed 2010 LP, 33 Minutos y en Auto—Tlx has made a comeback with the release of “Vicky,” available for free download.
Once you hear “Vicky,” there’s no denying that Tlx possess not only amazing talent as musicians, but an incredible ear for vintage pop rock sound and honest lyricism. The track begins with an upbeat, melodious guitar riff and frenetic rhythms that never waiver, yet, it is Añez’s emotional alto that ultimately gives the track that urgent sense of longing that the story requires. If you listen closely to the lyrics, they reveal a tale about love, mystery, and betrayal in the Internet era, making the song’s sunny rhythms a bit ironic. Yet Tlx have proven to be very calculated in their aesthetic, so I doubt this is a happy accident. In fact, the song reminds me a bit of the mixture of elation and nostalgia in David Bowie’s 1983 classic “Modern Love.” Trust me, I wouldn’t throw that reference in if I didn’t think the track was beyond good.