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Gure Jarrera

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Album Review

With the arrival of Mikel Anastesia (bass) and Mikel Bap (drums), Negu Gorriak passed from being more of a creative project to a genuine band looking to connect with the arena rock masses. Hard-riff rocking abounds on Gure Jarrera, mixed with a little turntable scratching on the nagging "Lehenbiziko Bala" before hitting a murderous edge on "El Dezacon Sal," complete with solos that hang on the edge of Sonic Youth noise. "Song Number One" throws in some AC/DC moves, and thrash meshes with a taste of tandem harmony lead guitars by Iñigo Muguruza and Kaki Arkarazo in a Thin Lizzy vein on "Zipaoean Matxinada." The guitar onslaught reaches its apex on "NG, Geurea Da Garaipena," hitting home with Thin Lizzy-meets-Lynyrd Skynyrd leads and riffs framing Fermín Muguruza's snarling but convincing rap vocals. But Negu Gorriak again mixes up their guitar riffs with a few different rhythm trips. The D.I.Y. sound collages using samples from the Meters, James Brown, and Sly & the Family Stone are one step more sophisticated than on Negu Gorriak. Triggered by a Linton Kwesi Johnson sample, "B.S.O." takes off on the dub route and the closing "Gora Herria" alternates light ska with hard, melodic chords and exuberant gritos. The political quotient in the lyrics surpassed even Fermín Muguruza's normal vehemence, as evidenced by the legal action stemming from "Ustelkeria" (Rottenness). But Gure Jarrera is one more forward step on Negu Gorriak's radical path, an advance over the first album and a launching pad to the astounding Borreroak Baditu Milaka Aurpegi.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Negu Gorriak (which means red winter), a great band likened to the Clash for its ferociously energetic music and radical political stance, would merit attention strictly for the quality of music on the half-dozen CDs the Basque group released between 1990 and 1996. But Negu Gorriak went several steps beyond, adopting the punk D.I.Y. aesthetic with a vengeance and forming the Esan Ozenki label as an independent alternative to the mainstream music industry. The label became the center for releases...
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Gure Jarrera, Negu Gorriak
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