Él Mató A Un Policía Motorizado Glide Past the Golden Age of Argentine Rock on ‘Violencia’ EP

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For the better part of this decade, one of the hardest working bands in Argentine history have been carving a space for themselves in rock music, changing the game in their country’s musical landscape. Él Mató A Un Policía Motorizado boast a simple, austere sound, but that’s all they really need to shift paradigms. For their latest effort, Violencia EP, the band continues to forge ahead.

Since the 80s, Argentina has been one of the world’s biggest rock hubs, producing a fertile scene that has influenced a ton of musicians the world over. Soda Stereo, Spinetta, Charly García, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, and many more have set an example for so many, inspiring tons of starving artists to pick up guitars and try their hand at the craft. These artists hail from the Golden Age of rock en español, peaking some time in the 90s.

Plenty of Argentine bands have gained success in their own right, but few of them have done so with a sound that doesn’t refer back to Gustavo Cerati, Vicentico, García, Paez, etc. Él Mató seem garner acclaim without relying on references to their country’s forefathers. It also doesn’t hurt that their music is heartfelt and melodic – but still challenging – or that they spend most of their time touring, even though their parents probably told them to get a real job or move out of the house a long time ago.

Though Él Mató have made so many well-received full-length albums, they almost thrive better in EP form. The short running time is prime; it enables the band to put everything they’ve got into a small package. Violencia is no exception. The EP’s five tracks are prime EMAUPM – minimal, austere rock with driving basslines, guitars that either double or counter those basslines, straight, simple drumming, and ultra melodic vocals ready to be sung by huge crowds in need of earnest lyrics. The duality of post-punk instrumentation, krautrock rhythms and structures, and easy-to-follow vocals has been completely effective for them. They relish in the contrasts and finding their own sound, embracing both populist songwriting and experimental leanings.

Violencia opens with the title track, and it could very well be the song that defines the Él Mató sound. Chiming guitars drive the track until it reaches the anthemic chorus. “El Baile de la Colina” is repetitive without becoming tedious; the motorik rhythm gets the song going and melodies wrap nicely around the ears. “Aire Fresco” is a little more ambitious. It starts slow and subdued, almost like a mantra, before swirling guitars step up and add another dimension. “Rucho” is a short instrumental that reaffirms their core sound, while closer “Dos Galaxias” (a bonus track previously included on another EP, Mujeres Bellas y Fuertes) is one of their best tracks, a slow burner that explodes in all its melodic glory and sentiment.

Violencia further proves that Él Mató can be great without trying to worship at the feet of the Golden Age of Argentine rock. They’re here to reaffirm themselves as a next-generation band, and stress that their journey continues on the path to bigger and better things.

Violencia EP drops on February 19 via Nacional Records. Keep an eye out for their next full-length, which is currently in the works.