Madrid’s power-pop outfit Los Punsetes have been fine-tuning their musical and visual style for a few years now. They’re well known for their relentless, guitar-driven indie rock, and deadpan delivery of brutally honest and brash lyrics. Even though they’ve chosen to stay within the confines of a somewhat generic style of jangle pop, you always know who you’re listening to. There can only be one Los Punsetes and that’s what’s amazing about them.
The band does such a good job at convincing you that Ariadna is the voice of reason, that her problems are more important than yours, unless you feel exactly the same way. During live shows, the band plays dressed in normal civilian clothes, while she just stands there like the ghost of a couture model. Lethargic and indifferent, you know she knows “mi barrio me respalda.” To add another layer of irony, most of the lyrics aren’t hers and she seldom identifies with them.
Also as part of their live show is the work of visual artist Ricardo Roncero. This time he was hired to direct “Arsenal de Excusas,” the second single off last year’s LPIV (Canada, 2014). This co-production between the band and their label is a visually captivating, black-and-white piece that gives us a different side of Los Punsetes. Usually we see them in more whimsical and goofy adventures, where the lyrics dictate a lot of the visual content. Many have criticized the band for going a bit soft on their more recent records, and whether that is accurate or not, this track and video do play off each other to create a much less cynical and more vulnerable vibe.
For the uninitiated this may seem like tree porn with a two-dimensional narrative, but to see Los Punsetes change is to love them, and I love them.