Monday, 29 May 2017

Pega Monstro 'Casa De Cima' (ALBUM REVIEW)

Portuguese siblings Julia (drums/vocals) and Maria Reis (Guitar/Vocals) have been creating a glorious sisterly racket for half a decade with their band whose moniker translates as ‘Catch the Monster”, blazing a trail throughout the Lisbon punk scene whilst also creating their own record label Cafetra Records.

Third album ‘Casa De Cima’ (that’s Upper House in English money) takes its name from the place in western Portugal where the sisters recorded these seven new tracks last autumn, once more enlisting the services of Leonardo Bindilatti to take to the controls.

Naturally being just a duo there are limits to what you can put to tape if you if harbour any hope of faithfully reproducing the material live. Notwithstanding, the sisters really stretch themselves on ‘Casa De Cima’ taking their signature fuzzy cowpunk sound whilst really pushing the envelope on the album’s longer tracks. The result is a beguiling mish-mash of noise, the listener perhaps picking up a myriad of influences including Sparks, Stereolab, Jane’s Addiction, and Sonic Youth. 

Short sharp shocks include the furious ‘Partir a Loica’, (Break all the Dishes) frenetic guitar suddenly giving way to a militaristic two-step, dreamy twin vocals weaving in and out. This is after opener ‘O Miguel’, reprised acoustically at the end of splendid closer ‘Odemira’, kicks things off with lush harmonies battling trebly guitar and gentle percussion. We’re treated to moments of gentleness too, the soothing lullaby of ‘Fado da Estrela do Ouro’ providing welcome respite. 

Cachupa’ is the pick of the band’s foray into longer pieces and is arguably a song of two halves, gentle Gallic-tinged indie slowing to a virtual halt, reminding the listener of a decelerating train, then replaced by a quixotic waltz, ebbing and flowing towards the end with a recital of local poetic hero Fernando Pessoa’s ‘O Moinho de Café’. 

Small but perfectly formed. 

Words - Mike Price

Pega Monstro

Casa De Cima is released on Upset The Rhythm Records on June 2nd

1. Ó Miguel
2. Partir a Loiça
3. Fado da Estrela do Ouro
4. Cachupa
5. Pouca Terra
6. Sensação
7. Odemira