Mujercitas Terror has no time for fooling around. Just hit play on the band’s new album Fiesta Muda, and opener “La Secta Olvidada” immediately hits hard, with fast and thunderous drums, distorted guitars, and a larger-than-life chorus, forcing you to catch up with their energy in just seconds. The song also does a great job of setting the tone for the rest of the album.
The Argentine trio has a reputation for darkness, and a glance at their album art or song titles and lyrics certainly suggests an affinity for gloom. But one listen to Fiesta Muda reveals that this is actually a fun record. Most of the music here is upbeat, and even in the presence of dissonance and saturation, the vocal melodies often route the songs to a place of beauty, especially when vocalists Daniela and Marcelo‘s voices harmonize. Lead single “Promess” is a good example, since here the guitars are loud and the beat is fast, taking cues from 80s post-punk and 90s alternative rock à la SST in equal measure. But the chord progression and vocal harmonies are unexpectedly uplifting, something that clashes with somber words like “un día de lluvia te quieres refugiar/aunque en el fondo sabes/ya nadie te hablar quiere/están muertos.”
Mujercitas Terror seem to be very aware of their music’s duplicitous veneer, so they just went ahead and explored it. “Orgía Romántica” is borderline mellow and close to 80s English shoegaze. It’s arguably the most stunning moment on the album, but pay close attention and you’ll run into lyrics like, “los llamaste aldeanos, aldeanos malditos/ahora serán/vigilando las puertas/para matarte,” once again bombarding us with mixed messages. “Celestial Carrousel” comes close to being the only sort of ballad here, and it’s a lovely break from the rest of the tracks’ fast pace, perhaps coming too soon.
But truth to be told, most of the songs on Fiesta Muda are just menacing, especially towards the end of the album. “Cruz de Hierro” is a straight up punk beast that sounds like it was recorded to start mosh pits. On “Tus Frases,” the trio repeatedly tells us “huye,” but with those screams and the song’s rockabilly-infused rhythm, we feel like doing the exact opposite. Closer “Los Gusanos Actores” is definitely a standout, where for almost four minutes we’re assaulted with schizophrenic key and tempo changes, brutal drum hits by drummer Federico Losa, and massive walls of guitars.
Fiesta Muda is a strong comeback from Mujercitas Terror, one that cements their image as a dark rock band also capable of beauty. They certainly hold a preference for a specific sound, one that’s reprised throughout the record without becoming repetitive. It’s an album full of contrasts: Mujercitas Terror can make you raise your fist into the air and develop warm fuzzies, all in the same song. But, most of all, this is a solid rock album.