After several listens to XYXâ€™s debut long player, it was unfortunate to learn that this a posthumous release. The duo of Anhelo Escalante and Mou Ortiz called it quits a while back, leaving Teatro Negro unreleased. Fortunately for us, the good people at Monofonus Press took it upon themselves to give the album a proper release. This is a work too good to pass up.
The eleven tracks that make up Teatro Negro are raw, uncompromising psych and punk gems. The fade in to opener â€śSimuladoâ€ť eases the listener into the album, but after that the duo never lets up. Drummer Ortizâ€™s relentless pummeling of his kit has its fingerprints all over every track, although â€śViajeroâ€ť and â€ś77 Diasâ€ť are fantastic reference points. The drumming, along with Escalanteâ€™s bass work and vocals, leave no space unfilled. Escalanteâ€™s bass, which does some heavy lifting as well, operates as the rhythmic yin to Ortizâ€™s frenetic yang. The best example of this dynamic is â€śS.P.Y.,â€ť the album closer. After an intro of spacey effects, a scuzzy bass riff sets the pace, with Ortizâ€™s drums seeping into the forefront of the mix. When everything comes together around the 3-minute mark, the ensuing catharsis is truly remarkable. The duo holds nothing back, yet still maintains a rhythm that keeps things grounded, until all comes to an abrupt end.
Since there will be no further output from XYX, Teatro Negro is a true testament to the raw talent of its members. The LP is a fully formed beast, which makes it all the more special when considering that it is the first and last thing that most listeners will hear from the band. In a thrilling introduction, and sendoff, to this Monterey-bred group, Teatro Negro should not disappoint listeners who seek an experimental edge to their punk rock.