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Review: Los Bungalitos – Nueva Inglaterra

In case you haven’t heard, Los Bungalitos are back.

Years in the making, the MVHC flagbearers have returned with arguably their greatest record to date. After releasing a few self-recorded cuts of the record under the name “Quick & Dirty EP” a little while ago, we now have the full record to enjoy in all its glory. One could argue this is their current magnum opus as it is a pure of achievement of music, lyricism and energy put on display for the world to see.

Opening up their newest record with a sound clip about the history of Lowell, the first track dives straight into the energetic brand of music we have grown to love over the years. People familiar with the band will appreciate them sticking to their furious mix of hardcore and thrash with hints of melody thrown in for good measure. It rips and tears through 14 tracks of some of the highest energy songs to be released in 2018. Ending with the epic “EL CIRCO Y EL PAN“, this record takes you for a ride while attempting to educate you on why they are screaming so loud in the first place. Vocalist Enrique Vargas Rivera’s unique mix of Spanglish-infused vocal delivery will keep you interested while reading along to anthem after anthem. You will have a hard time sitting still while this record is being played and I believe that was the intention all along.

Lyrically, Los Bungalitos have always been a band with something to say. They make that loud & clearing in this entry of their discography. From the liner notes:

This album is art inspired by revolution. It is dedicated to the memory of the countless souls throughout history who were brutalized by the evils of colonization and the twin myths of capitalism and religion. It is a fantasy of an alternate past, a snapshot of a turbulent present, and a compass for a more humane future.

I got a chance to speak with Enrique about the album.

It’s been a while since Los Bs have released any new material sans the Quick & Dirty EP which is actually demos of the new record. What’s the genesis of this newest record?

“Wow, that’s true! It’s been almost five years since our last album! I guess we tend to release albums every five years, the last one being Aventura Sin Final. The conception of this record happened basically right after we released Aventura. As a matter of fact, we played a song that’s in Nueva Inglaterra on Aventura’s release show! It’s really been that long of a process. With that being said, we didn’t really sit down to “write” an album until about two or two-and-a-half years ago. If there was a specific reason, it was like what most bands feel, I think… the need to play something new and fresh. I am of the school of of thought to always do something new in whichever form of art that you’re doing. It can get boring as a performer to do the same thing over and over. I can only speak for myself in this one, but I also truly believe that as a collective, we were a few levels above musically compared to what we did in Aventura. We just wanted to show everyone what we are capable of both lyrically and sonically.”

Los B’s have been a band since 2003 and this new record sounds as angry as you’ve ever been. What makes this record a special entry in your discography?

“I would not really say that it’s “angry” in the sense of me as a person being upset. I think that 99% of people involved in hardcore punk are angry at some aspect of their daily lives as is everyone in hardcore or not. But anger is in the DNA of hardcore music! I will rather say that I did take a more political and historical approach based my perspective as a Puerto Rican both here in the States and in the current political climate. Also what goes on in Borinquen due to the relationship with the United States. Also my “singing”, if you can call it that, was more on the “growly” side of the spectrum than in all our previous albums. The reality is that I have always been upset about all these issues, but had never put it into words.

What makes this special? I mean, and I am saying this just for myself… most of the bands I loved growing up were either very outspoken about social issues very directly, and some to a lesser degree. All these issues have always been there and it is a big aspect about why I gravitate to this genre. I admire artists and people that are outspoken and use their various platforms as tools for social change, spread awareness and expose people to what’s happening. I have always wanted (and honestly was a little scared) to go that route myself and did for this album. That for me in itself is special, because I think I am giving or adding to the movement some of what it gave me from a perspective not usually heard. As a collective of individuals it is special because I think this is the best material we’ve written. For me, it is the best music I have ever been a part of in creating, period. Also the fact that I wrote a lot in Spanish for this project.”

Anything else you’d like to share about this record?

“This album wouldn’t have happened without my best friends Joe, Tim, Julius, and Nick. The work and patience that Joe put into this record deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. Support Constant Disappointment Records. Listen to all Lowell bands. Hi Mike Dailey. Jon and Jenn”

Released by local label Constant Disappointment Records on vinyl, the artistry of the layout and color variations make it a must have for your record collection. From the lyrics to the beauty of the chaos in their music, Los Bungalitos have returned in the most glorious way possible.

 – Troy Nicholson 

Recommended tracks:  “DECEPTION” – “FUTURO INCIERTO” – “EL CIRCO Y EL PAN”