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CD Review: Banda De Turistas' Magical Radiophonic Heart



The Deal: Critical darlings. They've been called everything nice, like the greatest new band from Argentina, the latest in retro, best in psychedelic rock, best new Latin Artists, even "impeccable shoes"(!), so B de T has an awful lot to live up to, almost too much. Garage rock and psychedelic? Don't think so. More like cleanly produced pop – a buoyant, lightweight affair – with a few nods to psychedelic luminaries Roky Erickson and the Grateful Dead. Nice that Banda de Turistas have a globetrotting Jarvis Cocker (from Pulp) – connection, for whom they open when he tours Buenos Aires.

The Good: Catchy, frothy, spritely tunes with happy, snappy beats are coupled with positive-sounding melodies. Surrealistic, mystical lyrics prevail – like title cut, "Magical Radiophonic Heart" and others such as "Todo Vaya Por la Cábala" ("Everything Goes Through the Cabala") and Las Flores De Mal (Flowers of Evil). Personally, album finisher, tune numero 15, is the best, a one-chord, instrumental wonder, "El Asombroso Misterio de La No Materia" ("The Amazing Mystery of Anti-Matter").

The Bad: Psychedelic, my ass. This is no psych-pop landmark like "Itchycoo Park" or anything heavier. But it's a pleasant enough start in the right direction, though I wouldn't get high to it.

The Verdict: Lacking heaviosity, there are no bad cuts, either. No reason to hit skip for any tune as the band has presence, hooks and perhaps, staying power. Call it Latin Pop with a touch of psychedelia.

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