Las Kellies are one of the finest garagey outfits operating out of Argentina, where they keep the grrrl flame burning brightly. Friends & Lovers is a lovely shimmering groove-garage set that makes the listener think of happy times in the sun. Friends & Lovers is released on CD and on LP by the Fire label.
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Argentinian garage from Buenos Aires grrrl group Las Kellies now… Exotic! Sunny! Bouncy! Certainly all the above adjectives apply to opening track ‘Sugar Beat’ with its rubbery bassline and post-punk-funk rhythm guitars. This album is a light and breezy delight, continuing with the melodic grunge-pop of ‘Tied to a Chain’ and ‘Make It Real’, the latter with psychedelic undertones sweeping in and some beautiful guitar from Ceci.
Comparisons can be reasonably drawn to ESG and Throwing Muses. The dance tunes are loaded onto the first half of the record, with ‘I’m On Fire’ rolling on with a riff that won’t quit. Gone perhaps are the dub-heavy rhythms of previous records, but the band have gained a lightness and extra pop sensibility to make up for this. ‘Summer Breeze’ jangles along at a lick that will bring back bittersweet memories of a season gone all too soon. ‘I Don’t Care’ is a grungey stormer, the blur of guitars adding a rough edge to the vocals.
The album loses a little momentum halfway through, the feel becomes darker in tone and mellower in pace but maybe this was hard to keep up for 12 tracks. ‘Sundays’, towards the back of the disc, trundles along baggily and bass-heavy but with those sweet vocal melodies. There’s certainly enough here to keep the fans happy and attract new interest from the garage-pop heads.
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