[Artwork by Skinner]
If you grew up in one of the lucky parts of the world, there was probably a time in your life when you experienced precisely what true freedom intended humans to feel when the words “true freedom” enter a conversation: long summer vacations. Some of you poor bastards from less fortunate places only got five or six weeks of freedom—barely enough time to build a highly dangerous treehouse out of discarded pallets. Others… Well, we had so much free time in the summer for dumb shit that we willfully elected to burn multiple mornings watching The Price is Right.
Los Huaycos wants to give you another fifteen minutes of true freedom with Savage Monstrosities, a brief and hazardously fun little record with the power to conjure an age when your biggest worries included whether you’d be able to sneak a sixer under your bed or stick the landing off a steep boardslide. The sort of fiery free rein that existed before you realized that jumping off a stage might not be the best idea because your health coverage blows.
Punk thrash / thrashcore is the best way to describe what these Peruvians (by way of SF/Oakland) have on tap. Every song here captures the sort of quick, intense, car-crash style of crossover that would’ve made Los Huaycos a fitting tour companion to Septic Death back in the day, and a suitable partner to Ghoul today. The overall mood leans harder on punk, though, with an emphasis on a brand of skate punk / post-hardcore that summons a collision between Gang Green and Quicksand. So, while cuts like the opening “Deforestation,” “Igual que Hoy,” “Memoria en Blanco” and the glowing-hot “No Consegui Nada” all jump at the throat with an animosity that screams metal, there’s an equal share of Revelation Records’ sunnier disposition in songs such as “Feriado Largo,” “Monstruosidades Salvajes” and the excellent “Illusión” to help spice the brew.
The fact that Savage Monstrosities is only fifteen minutes long is probably its biggest snare, but it still does the trick for jump-starting your brain into approaching whatever happens next in a more positive light with some fire in your belly. Humans need that, especially in this day and age. You may never get three months of summer vacation again, and hell, chances seem fairly slim that any of us will get an opportunity to retire and find some mystical return to true freedom in our golden years—that shit’s only for pro athletes, shitcom stars and trust fund kids turned scumbag billionaires these days. But you’re also not required to hitch down the road quietly with a frozen frown on your face. Grab fun from every angle available, and be loud about it, which is precisely what a record like Savage Monstrosities is here to help cultivate.