Sunday, 10 February 2013

Horizonte Eléctrico - 10 Great contemporary Spanish bands who should be better known outside Spain

Firstly, Spain is the home of the guitar. The Spanish have a tradition of guitar playing that goes back centuries. Flamenco music features some of the great virtuosos in guitar history. This tradition has been drawn on, consciously or unconsciously, in Spanish Rock for decades.

The second thing to say about contemporary Spanish Rock is that it is in a very healthy state. Bands like Los Brincos or Los Bravos had some international success in the 1960s however rock in Spain has especially flourished, along with the other arts, since the return to democracy in the 1970s. There has also been a very interesting indie scene since the early 90s.

I have already talked about one of Spain's finest and most original bands here Manta Ray. In this post I have just picked 10 contemporary bands whose records I have enjoyed over the last few years. There is a slightly psychedelic 60s influence to nearly all of them. That's about all they have in common. They are not representative of anything except my own taste. Although these bands may not sell millions or be very well known outside Spain there is some great rock and pop here. The Spanish, like the British in the 60s or the Germans in the 70s, have, by drawing upon their own culture, found a convincing and legitimate voice in a music that is largely American in origin and dominated by the English language.

So, in no particular order, here are 10 great contemporary Spanish bands that should be better known outside Spain...

Corizonas - Hey hey hey (The news today)
Superb 60s psychedelic jangly rock / pop  in the tradition of Love or the Byrds. And the only track here sung in English.The Corizonas are actually two bands - Madrid surf-rockers Los Coronas and Arizona Baby from Valladolid. After touring together they decided to team up and form a kind of supergroup. Hence the name Corizonas.

Cola Jet Set - El Amor Mejora
Love'll make it better. More classic 60s inspired pop. This time from Barcelona. It must be all that sun.

Facto Delafé y Las Flores Azules - Mar el poder del Mar 
Again from Barcelona. A cross between feelgood hip hop and indie pop. The poetry of everyday life.

Sidonie - El bosque
Lost in the woods. Dance influenced hard rock with a touch of psychedelia. Another Barcelona band.

Ivan Ferreiro - Turnedo
Iván Ferreiro is from Vigo, Galicia. Here he is with his brother, Amaro. Classic song. "¿Quien no tiene el valor para marcharse?" A kind of response to The Clash's Should I Stay or Should I Go lyric? Great voice too. Like a cross between Lennon and Liam Gallagher. Complete with refreshingly cheapo home made video.

Pereza - Lady Madrid
Pereza are Rubén Pozo Prats y José Miguel Conejo Torres from Madrid. Great song. Similar feel to the Rolling Stones on Goats Head Soup.

Nacho Vegas – Cómo Hacer Crack
Nacho Vegas is from Gijon, Asturias, and used to be in Manta Ray.
A great song-writer and story teller. His songs probably best portray contemporary Spain. According to (and a few other places) he "blends the polyhedric language of rock and the most stark lyricism into an intense whole. His lyrics are painful and celebratory, pathetic and grand, brutally lucid and of an intimate beauty; a desperate philosophy of survival shines with a wicked sense of humour and a longing for the divine".
Which is nice.
Who am I to argue with that?

La Habitación Roja - Un dia perfecto
Droning psychedelic pop which might owe a little to the Velvets' Waiting for the Man in its unrelenting percussive attack. Impressive live band too.

Los Planetas - La Playa
From Granada, more droning psychedelia from Los Planetas. And a vocal style which seems to have a kind of dislocated "recorded backwards" feel rather like on the Beatles' Rain. Can be quite intoxicating.

Los DelTonos - Horizonte Eléctrico
From Cantabria, Los DelTonos rock out. Definitely Stonesian in its swagger and riffage.

They also give us the title of this post. "El horizonte brilla eléctrico, y seguir ... mi futuro está allí". ("The horizon shines electric, keep going... the future is there".)

Yé-yé! Spanish Nuggets - Ten 1960s Grarage, Beat and Psych classics from Spain.  

Horizonte Electrico 2 - 10 Great Flamenco Classics

20 years of the Xixon Sound

The Return of Manta Ray - Manta Ray live ...

More on my page dedicated to Spanish Rock. Click below.


  1. There are two asturian groups that are also really good as

    1. Thanks, I will look into them. I'm gonna do something on the Xixon sound too.

  2. THE BLUES SHERPAS....................... One of the finest bands to grace the Gijón scene.

  3. We would like to add: rock band from Barcelona. Thank you...