Mustangs and Madras - La Lechuza (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Mustangs and Madras

La Lechuza (2007)

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On Mustangs and Madras' previous self-titled endeavor, the band came upon a ton of similarities with Braid, Texas Is the Reason and At the Drive-In that tended to work in their favor. On the eight-song La Lechuza, the band strip away a bit of that blatancy (really just the Braid and TITR coincidences) in favor of slightly more original but no less hard-nosed, mid-paced indie rock. Though, their vocalist still sounds an awful lot like Cedric Bixler-Zavala.

There's more saxophone use as well, when the band aren't busy deploying jagged riffs ("I'm Saying Yes, Because This Is True"). Again, it provides an interesting layer to the band's songs, but it can't always rescue them from rising above "not bad" into greater, more enjoyable territories. The band is certainly adventurous and writes curious structures for their songs that are interesting to follow (the instrumental "Now It's Fucking Saturday"), but they aren't always necessarily exhilarating.

Oh, and there's a melodica that keeps popping up and reminding me of The Shape of Punk to Come. That can't hurt.

Ah, and I believe that's the singer from Planes Mistaken for Stars guesting on the second to last track. His gravelly voice provides a welcome change-up to the album.

Anway, unfortunately I feel the same way about La Lechuza as I did Mustangs' self-titled album. It's decent, but it's just missing that special something; maybe the band needs to work on their dynamic or devise more effective tempo changes. There's still a lot of potential here, but hopefully the band capitalize on that quick, since Lechuza is already following Mustangs and Madras by nearly three years.

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