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Guapo - Five Suns CD (album) cover

FIVE SUNS

Guapo

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.11 | 99 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

cscrutinizer
2 stars I purchased this album because these guys are touted as the next Magma, or often compared to the great Zeuhl masters. As someone who has listened to a lot of indie rock in the 90's, I can say these guys are not that great. I would have to say, The Flying Luttenbachers are a much more competant representation of music with Zeuhl influence (but they go far beyond that). But, to put it in perspective, none of these independent rock bands are contenders when it comes to the original masters of the genre. This is coming from someone who is not some ancient hippy that saw Magma back in the 70's. My preferences in music would tend to have me prefer Guapo, but they are just not interesting.

The problem with 5 Suns is that it is monotonous. With Magma, there is repetition, but the compositions are expertly written and the instrumentation and vocals are lush, complicated, and virtuosic. Complicated solo instrumentation dances around a deceptively simple framework. The repetition of Magma is very subtle, and a closer examination will reveal that it is more complicated than it appears.

Guapo, on the other hand, are a bare-bones band. No vocals. Just drums, fuzzy bass, and keyboards. With that sort of simplicity, the repetitive nature of the music comes across as tedium. Ruins, who are also bare bones, would never force self-indulgent monotony on their listeners. Instead, they pound out intense, fast, and complicated music that constantly changes. It is hard to detect any Magma influence, other than the vocals sung in a language of their own invention, and the occasional prog-medly.

5 Suns was an album that slightly impressed me on the first few listens, but it doesn't keep on giving to the listener after that. After 1 or 2 listens, you get the point. It's a few dimensions of Magma's and King Crimsons music, slighly modernized and rubber stamped across a few tracks.

The 5 Suns suite is very bland. The songs after the 5 suns suite are better, and a little more interesting.

I think a lot of proggers like these guys because they haven't heard anything of the progressive/indie-rock explosion of the 1990s. Even obvious band likes Ruins or Don Caballero are far more intersting than Guapo. The only way I can see anyone being impressed by this band is if they only listened to 70's prog and were ignorant of the progressive-influenced independent rock bands of the 90's (I'm NOT talking about Death Cab for Cutie).

I'm not quite sure how Guapo have connected with progressive fans, while bands like Don Cab, Ruins, and the Flying Luttenbachers tend to appeal to independent rock fans. Maybe it is a label oriented thing, or maybe a lot of progressive rock fans find virtue in tedium. My suggestion is to ignore what record label they are on (don't get me wrong, Cuneiform is great) and actually listen to the music. This one is a snoozer...

cscrutinizer | 2/5 |

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