Pega Monstro are a sister act who started playing in their teenage years. As a duo on drums / guitar / keyboards / double-shouted-vocals, they have the super-tight chemistry that comes of literally growing up with another person. Alfarroba is their first record to be fully released outside of Portugal, courtesy of Upset The Rhythm.
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If I had a car and a pair of sunglasses I’m pretty sure this would be the missing piece in the triforce of my life. Pega Monstro are making breezy roadtrip rock with ‘Alfarroba’, a slice garage rock that flies by on highway winds with faraway production that declares forward motion. This is the sister duo’s first release out of Portugal, and it should find an audience amongst the psychsters who have just woken up and anyone who likes the words “Ty” and “Segall”.
These tracks suggest chaos but don’t deliver it in full, serving as digestible, shorthand versions of punk songs with drum fills that make things feel ramshackle without dropping or losing timing; the songs are separate with an inch of feedback that splits up chord sequences at their gnarliest (“Branca”) and their most plaintive (the sorta Dinosaur Jr, “Nao Consegues”). The occasionally affectation marks a break in proceedings, such as the swirling background filler and backhanded psychedelic riffing of “Nao” and the final minutes of “Estrada”, where the duo lose themselves in a pit of random abstractions.
Overall, though, this record subsists on a healthy diet of joyous, distorted rock, given shoegaze’s guise but not for the sake of creating an alternate dreamworld. For those who liked the teaser tune from Grouper’s new band -- a thrash version of a dream pop song -- this will be perfect, a record that offers elements of a hazier sound but punctuates it with sharp percussion and ugly guitar tones. Sick.
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