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El Hombre Montana (El Hombre Montana)

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Album Review

After two albums, 1998's Delmar and 1999's Ciudad de Brahman, made up of competent, but seriously Kyuss-dependent stoner and space rock, Argentina's Los Natas definitively established their own unique identity with 2002's critically acclaimed Corsario Negro — an often stark and mostly wordless Patagonian soundtrack built on songs resembling slow-advancing glaciers, their riff-blocks as dense as Andes Mountain strata compacted by untold eons. Then, there followed Toba Trance, which essentially extrapolated those panoramic songwriting tendencies while apparently satiating the band's interests in that creative direction. The next Los Natas album, El Hombre Montana, found them switching gears completely to embrace an astonishingly raw, loose, even ragged, brand of fuzz rock, so far removed from Corsario Negro as to be almost shocking. Yet, for the most part, it's a source of great relief to see that Los Natas stellar compositional and musical skills still manage to carry them through the day: whether pounding their way through a predominance of high-energy numbers ("El Bolsero," "La Espada in la Piedra," "El Soldado," etc.), detouring into bare-bones acoustic offerings ("El Camino de Dios," "Sigue, Sigue..."), or trudging closer to their slow burning, doomier natural element on rare occasions ("Humo Negro del Vaticano" "De las Cenizas, El Hombre..."). If all of the above reveal any notable weakness, it has to be Sergio Ch.'s somewhat limited range of vocal expression; a weakness he'd rarely had a chance to even test on those largely instrumental recent efforts, but which here is nevertheless remedied by his laudable insistence on writing Spanish lyrics, which lend the entire album an exotic flavor. And that, along with their innate talents, maverick mindset, and fearlessness about tackling a fresh approach to songwriting, ultimately guarantee another compelling outing for Los Natas, whose fans undoubtedly realize how precious these qualities have become in the 2000s decidedly impoverished stoner rock scene.

Biography

Formed: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Formed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Los Natas put the second largest South American nation on the world's stoner rock map almost single-handedly. Coming together in the mid-‘90's, guitarist/vocalist Sergio Chotsourian, bassist Miguel Fernandez and drummer Walter Broide displayed a distinct Kyuss obsession on their 1996 debut Delmar, which was sung almost exclusively in Spanish. But subsequent releases such as 1999's Ciudad de Brahman and 2002's Corsario Negro (featuring new bassist Gonzalo Villagra)...
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El Hombre Montana (El Hombre Montana), Los Natas
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Contemporaries