Imagine a ‘Tropical Dystopia’ With Monstruos del Mañana’s Soaring New EP

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Monstruos del Mañana‘s latest EP, Tropical Dystopia, was just released by our dear pals over at NWLA, but it seems like it was quite a journey building up to this moment. Musician Roy MT started the project as a solo affair back in 2012, and by 2013 he’d already completed the songs for this release, but the process of recording, mixing, and mastering it proved to be long and tortuous. It was also fruitful and satisfying, though, as the project developed into a full-fledged band, and the result made the wait worthwhile.

Tropical Dystopia‘s carefree spirit ties the EP’s diverse sounds and stories together. Over timbales fills, organs, and Santana-like guitar solos, singers Joaquina Mertz and Rodrigo Martínez recount tales of aliens, monsters, and ghosts. “Trópico de Cáncer (Ay Ay Ay)” stands out for its Afro-Cuban influences: congas riding the rhythm, cowbells, and percussive harmonies abound. In one word: guaguancó.

Percussion and off-kilter drum beats are the main things that make Tropical Dystopia “tropical,” and also what gives the EP a fresh face. Swooning opener “Golden Skies” starts off with an almost dub-like groove, before going Balearic, and the title track’s ethereal vocals and floating guitars are brought back to Earth thanks to the restless drumming. On the other hand, “No Bread, No Shame” leans towards the sound of 90s alternative rock, while “I’ve Seen a Ghost” channels their more progressive influences. They’re both compelling, but also on the edge of sounding a little dated.

Time can be your frenemy, as Roy MT and his group learned the hard way. But in this case, it was time that made the band ripen their sound and ideas, and produce this precious little EP.