7/29/17 – Exquirla “Para quienes aún viven” (2017)

Exquirla is a Spanish Post-Rock group that is the result of two musical groups and two very different genres coming together, and this is their debut album. Toundra is the instrumental Post-Rock band that joined forces with Niño de Elche (Francisco Contreras), a singer who mainly plays modern Flamenco. The result is not an even split between the two sounds, it leans heavily towards the Post-Rock side, mainly due to the lack of any hint of Flamenco in the instrumentation. Contreras’ Flamenco beautiful serenades are translated here to a ghostly and eerie shout. Toundra’s instrumentals are just fantastic, the create epic and tense soundscapes for Contreras to fill in. It’s another album that I wish I had lyrics to, unfortunately it’s probably too new or too unknown.

Francisco Contreras’s voice is so emotive that he cuts right through the language barrier and to the core, especially on El grito del padre. It begins with some chanting and ends with some reversed audio vocals – if it weren’t for the epic middle part of the song it would be the trippiest on the album. That award goes to the haunting Contigo – a song thick with reverb and echo, like it was recorded in a giant empty warehouse. This all builds up to two epic 10 minute songs, Un hombre and Europa muda. On Un hombre, the Post-Rock staple of the blazing fast tremelo is finally put on showcase, and it’s fantastically well done.

The big question is if the music stands up on it’s own, is it still good after you get past the novelty of the origin of the band. Thankfully that answer is yes. It’s a much more straightforward Post-Rock album that’s heavy on the vocals, but solid completely throughout. So far there hasn’t been much competition but this is easily my Post-Rock album of the year so far, it’s just so well done and moving.