Less than a year and a half after their debut RATA NEGRA from Madrid release their sophomore album. Made up of members from JUANITA Y LOS FEOS and LA URSS this trio have a strong work ethic and deal in super catchy and upbeat punk. On Justicia C√≥smica, RATA NEGRA have upped the pop element in the songs and the production is stronger and chunky, without losing any of the raw elements. Again the whole sound is immersed in the darker and morbid side of post punk but mixed with the uptempo nature and tunes and of La's X and Gorilla Angreb. Like on their debut, it's love at first listen.
Justicia C√≥smica was recorded and produced by the legendary Paco Loco and as in previous releases the sleeve was designed by the band‚Äôs guitarist Fa Feo who also took care of the lyric insert.
Our take: One of LVEUM‚Äôs flagship bands returns with their long-awaited second LP. As on their first LP, Rata Negra strike a perfect balance between the sweet and salty, delivering song after song that makes you sing along by your second listen, but continues to reveal new wrinkles even after many repeat listens (which, I assure you, this has gotten). The vocal lines are big, broad, and memorable; that‚Äôs no surprise if you‚Äôre familiar with the band‚Äôs first LP or the singer‚Äôs previous band, the underrated Juanita Y Los Feos. If you‚Äôre a fan of Masshysteri‚Äôs big singalongs, her vocals are the aspect of the band you‚Äôll latch onto first, and I promise you‚Äôll love them just as much. For me, though, the guitar work is where Justicia Cosmica shines. While the vocals are blunt and forceful, the guitars are cagey and chameleon-like, shifting between the melodic post-punk leads of ‚ÄúSombras,‚Äù the almost jazzy ‚ÄúTe Elevas,‚Äù the surfy ‚ÄúEn Su Boca El Veneno,‚Äù and the more Johnny Thunders-esque ‚ÄúVerg√ºenza.‚Äù Besides the guitarist‚Äôs stylistic flexibility keeping monotony well at bay, his leads are almost always the darker, dissonant counterpoint to to the broader, brighter vocal melodies. It‚Äôs that interplay that makes Rata Negra so great. This is music you want to sing along with on a rainy day, not a sunny one. The recording here is powerful and texturally rich, the artwork looks cool‚Ä¶ it‚Äôs an A+ LP all around, and recommended for anyone who doesn‚Äôt mind a big dose of melody in their punk.