Berri Txarrak - Jaio.Musika.Hil (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Berri Txarrak

Jaio.Musika.Hil (2005)


Berri Txarrak is a Spanish band, although they obviously prefer to be referred to as a Basque band. Unfortunately, they sing in their native language called "Euskera" and I'm still awaiting their promised translation, so I can't really tell for sure what they sing about, but I'm pretty sure they support the independency struggle of the Basque "country" which has been subject of violent disputes and bombings of the ETA for the last decennia in Spain.

The band has existed since 1994, and this is their 5th album already. Although pretty unknown in our areas, the band's previous release featured guest vocals from Tim of Rise Against, and this new album was mixed by no other than Ed Rose.

The language thing is at the same time one of the positive aspects of this album, because it makes this music unique and interesting. It's simply a refreshing thing to hear non-English lyrics, and it fits perfectly with this music, as I always had with the Italian language as well.

The music is a mixture of alternative rock, punk, hardcore, metal and some amazing melodies. Band-wise, I think a mixture of Burning Heads and Helmet would be a good description. It has easier melodic parts mixed with full-throttle metal guitars, and very fast drumming and a distinctive European-only edge. "Berba Eta Irudia" is the perfect example of this eager and speed with a guitar that rips like Helmet and vocals that in the chorus show some of that more punk-directed injection. "Ippara Caldu: Hecora Joan" is another magnificent song that is somewhat more laid back, but has these beautiful powerful guitar chords all through and a nice sliding guitar in nice balance with pounding drums a few times in this song. Title track "Jaio.Musika.Hil" is of another calibre again, with a more emotional approach, but with a chorus that is again a marvel of guitar-fused energy.

A little let-down for me was the very loud recording of the bass and lower tunes, which makes it sound a bit over-the-top at times. I guess the sound people tried a bit too much to integrate the energetic tension that this music is definitely offering. I'm definitely looking forward to see them when they tour Europe in the near future.