With almost thirty years under their belt, Iguana Lovers were responsible for creating a whole new movement within the Argentine rock music called ‘Sonic Movement of Buenos Aires’ and were positioned as the new, independent band of the Buenos Aires scene. Three LPs and ten EPs later, Iguana Lovers are set to release new album Surfing Caos via Pinkie Records on 14th July. As well as founding members Ariel Soriano (guitars and vocals), Ivan Mirabal (guitars) and Javier Accossatto (bass), the lineup now also includes Gabriel Diederle (tambourine and machines) and Alfredo García Kalb (drums).
As if being introduced as a shoegaze/psych/indie band wasn’t enough for me, I get the added bonus of knowing that there are also guest performances from Martyn Walsh (Inspiral Carpets) on bass, Adrián Yanzón (Los Pillos) on vocals and Loz Colbert from Ride on drums. Ride’s Mark Gardener then took charge of mixing and post production at his studio OX4 in Oxford.
With influences coming from Blondie, Stones Roses, Joy Division, The Smiths, The Clash, The Jam, Sonic Youth, Echo and the Bunnymen, Beach Boys, The Ramones, Jesus and Mary Chain, Leftfield, Pil, The Who, Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets,The Velvet Underground, The Doors and Syd Barrett to name but a few, I was stoked to get stuck in to this album.
Kicking off with an almost “Smells Like Teen Spirit” intro, opening track “Quien” (featuring Los Colbert) throws you back to the 90s faster than the TARDIS. Frenzied drums and a Madchester flavour, this opener sets the bar high. The album doesn’t disappoint as it continues like a mass reunion of all your favourite 90s indie bands collaborating on each track. There’s nothing new here sound-wise, but I mean that in a positive way; this album is a sublime escape, pure shoegaze bliss.
From the trippy “Colonies Especiales” where distorted guitars are drowned out with harmonicas and maracas, and the dreamy bass driven “Illusion”, bands like Happy Mondays and The Snapdragons occur to me. Whereas “Immortal” and “Mar” (featuring Martin Walsh) are far heavier, more raw tracks which are rhythm intense and distortion loaded giving the album production a nice garage rock feel.
“Moverte” stands out for it’s surf/psych groove and gritty bass tone, The Beach Boys-esque track has me dancing around and completely under the spell of chorus claps. “Mersey Bit” and “Neuvo Orden” are psychedelic and dreamy, The Lemonheads spring immediately to mind, with clear guitar tones and soft vocals.
Another real highlight is “Surf and Destroy” which has a more indie rock vibe and really demonstrates the Iguana Lovers at their best, influenced yes, but completely their own sound, executed exquisitely.
Album closer “Cerca de Vos” (featuring Los Colbert again) is a beautiful, psychedelic acoustic number. Kaleidoscopic soundscapes make it seem like a song about love, translated it means “near you” but you really don’t need to know the lyrics to hear what this song is about, you just feel it.
Surfing Caos is a shining example of shoegaze rock. I’m in an indie haze dreaming of festivals of old in my tie-dye t-shirt and bucket hat. Out now, one for all you 90s indie rock fans.