Through sheer hard work and artistic integrity, Monte have become one of Costa Rica’s most emblematic and exciting indie rock bands. The trio, composed of Adrián Poveda (vocals/guitar), Franco Valenciano (drums), and Pablo Rojas (bass) have just released their second EP El Otro Mundo, a record that’s not to be slept on.
The EP kicks off with “La Luz” and “El Descenso de los Voladores,” two tracks with heavy riffing, but it doesn’t take long for the band’s pop side starts to come out. The breaks on “El Descenso” feature an almost clean guitar, along with some memorable lyrics. The following track, “Cuevas,” is an acoustic, soft, and atmospheric track adorned with samples. Without a doubt, its music and lyrics make it the most listenable and profound song on the EP.
The record’s raw production resembles what it might be like to see the band live, at an elaborate show where special percussion, synths, and extra guitars come into play. El Otro Mundo is a more polished version of Monte’s sound, but the record manages to keep the band’s turbulent charms.
Monte is not the kind of band who throws words into a riff to make a song catchier. With poised urgency, the band delivers striking lines, like “pocas veces enfrentamos al azar y perdimos siempre” and “necesitamos arriesgar no estar tan bien.”
With simple and direct lyrics, Monte challenges the idea that pretending to always be happy or sad are the only two ways of presenting ourselves. Listening to “Cuevas” or the closing track “Patrulla Reina Para Siempre,” you get the idea that it’s OK to roam without clear direction, with our complaints and our reasons for being grateful. We should be able to feel empowered enough to create our own narratives.
Without falling into the trap of presenting themselves as underdogs or as the true shapers of their scene, on El Otro Mundo, Monte offers five balanced tracks with well-crafted sonic backing that reflect on the difficulties we face in life.