So this is Aztec dub. We’re not ready to proclaim it a new category yet, but it’s definitely worth the props. This is music for 21st century gunslingers, with one foot in stirrups and the other in a new Ford Tundra. Le seminaire #1 is a brief introduction – just three songs and a remix – but it’s enough to make listeners want more, and the raw energy on display demonstrates that Pechuga de Pollodiabolo is probably a very good live band, a suitable tour partner for Aentitainment’s more established Guns of Brixton. Both seem to have an affinity for The Clash, a band that broke up too soon; but neither is so enamored of their idols that they seek to copy them. Imitation may be called the best form of flattery, but it’s not; taking the ideas of one’s ancestors and pushing them forward is a greater compliment.
“Ricotta” is slow and funky, a smoky boiler that sets the stage for its companions like an advanced guard hiding weapons for a later attack. As the track builds, it pays homage to post-rock as well as western rock; the avid sticks and precise guitars sound like the mid-career work of Do Make Say Think. The late track breakdown is truly a breaking down, not a build to anything, and its extension provides the band with one of its great sequences. “Decon” is lighter, infected by a virus of bells, and visited by a percussive physician. When the bass arrives, it does so like a purging flame, ready to burn out the impurities. “Uneplace” begins with the sound of children, but swiftly settles into a downtempo dirge. This time, the bass provides a carved tree of hooks upon which the other fine instruments can lay their hats. Finally, Numinos’ reimagining of “Einer Muss Ja” is a high-stepping dub excursion that merges the worlds of rock and dark dub. This is the closest thing to the band’s description, and as such provides a glimpse of Pechuga de Pollodiabolo’s possible future: swinging doors, savage fights, spurs and a whole lot of bodies sweating out the whiskey. (Richard Allen)