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Memorias de un Espantapájaros

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Album Review

Musically speaking, it is evident that M-Clan was born is an unfortunate country. If there is a band in Spain that better represents the Southern and blues-rock music of Creedence Clearwater Revival, early Aerosmith, and above all the Black Crowes, it's M-Clan. Their first two albums, Coliseum and Un Buen Momento, seemed to come straight from Woodstock, but the fact of emerging from a country where (intense) passion is expressed through corporal movement and gesture excess, more than through the furious scratches or the blues cries of an electronic guitar, can end up discouraging even the most determined band. From their third LP on, M-Clan appeared to be forced to sell their soul to the devil, releasing a succession of pop albums, compilations, and reissues of their earlier albums, all of which seemed to prove that what they needed (and were looking for) was to recover their lost soul. Memorias de un Espantapájaros (Memories of a Scarecrow) is just this expected comeback, but not a complete one. Maybe conscious that "being part of the game" is the only way to survive the Spanish market, this CD places itself halfway between the Southern rock sparkles of songs like "Ron Vudú," "Volando Alto" or "Si Estoy Tan Loco" from the two first albums, and pop melodies like "Carolina," "Maggie Despierta" or "Sopa Fría" from the subsequent works. In Memorias de un Espantapájaros, the guitars of "El Viaje" and "Las Calles Están Ardiendo" show, more in a Pearl Jam-styled way, that M-Clan knows better than almost anyone else in Spain, what rock is about: "Inmigrante" turns the feelings of those obliged to leave their roots into a beautiful ballad, and "Amor Universal" and the the Who-esque"Pasos de Equilibrista" complete the rockier repertoire of this album. On the other hand, songs like "Roto por Dentro," "Espantapájaros," or "Corazón de Bronce" suggest more simple structures and the melodies and lyrics that connected with the mainstream of albums like Usar y Tirar and Sin Enchufe. Depending on the point of view, Memorias de un Espantapájaros can be seen, if not the best M-Clan album, at least as the most coherent, where vocalist Carlos Tarque's voice works as a link between the accessible lyrics and melodies of their past and the speed and vigor of the early '70s.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Spain

Genre: Latino

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Formerly known as Murcielagos Clan, M-Clan was formed in the early '90s. Heavily influenced by Southern rock, M-Clan debuted with Un Buen Momento in 1996, followed by Coliseum a year later. In 1999, ex-Tequila Alejo Stivel produced Usar y Tirar, which provided an acclaimed slice of the band's folk, blues, and hard rock style. On November 23, 2000, a live acoustic performance was recorded, becoming M-Clan's fourth record. Sin Enchufe ("Unplugged") was released in 2001. After 2002's Defectos Personales...
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Memorias de un Espantapájaros, M-Clan
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