Spanish quartet Melenas channel a half-century of pop goodness on Dias Raros | Music Review | Chicago Reader

Spanish quartet Melenas channel a half-century of pop goodness on Dias Raros 

click to enlarge Melenas

Melenas

Mirari Echavarri

Pamplona, Spain, is probably best known for the festival of San Fermín, when thrill seekers run with bulls through the streets—which usually ends much worse for the animals than the humans. The four women in Melenas may not pull as big a crowd as that globally famous event, but on their new second album, Dias Raros (Trouble in Mind), they offer 11 better reasons to remember their hometown’s name. The band’s sound adheres to a template established by garage-rock combos in the 1960s and productively renewed by acts such as Yo La Tengo, Stereolab, and the late, very great New Zealand group Look Blue, Go Purple. Melenas lay trebly, reverberant guitar and alternately drony and punchy keyboard licks over simple, propulsive rock beats, and draw you in with simple, catchy vocal hooks. Since the songs are all in Spanish (the lyrics are printed, but not translated, on the album’s inner sleeve), listeners not conversant in the language might not be able to tell that guitarist Oihana and bassist Leire are singing about internal dialogues. But you don’t need to understand a word to catch the happy-sad vibe that spikes Melenas’ graceful melodies.   v

Get our free weekly Early Warnings newsletter 💌

It’s Chicago’s essential months-ahead music calendar straight to your inbox.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Sea Change BRNDHAUS PL-ZEN
July 15
Galleries & Museums
May 28

Popular Stories