Monday, 29 December 2014

Peralta “Time, Purpose & Gold” - Spanish Band’s Homage to West Coast Rock is one of the best albums of 2014

"Peralta...mi Banda española favorita." - Sid Griffin (The Long Ryders)

2014 has been a pretty good year for my kind of rock’n’roll. If you are into 1960s influenced acid-tinged jangling sunshine psychedelia this year has really brought forth a bumper crop.

Woods, Real Estate and The Ugly Beats have put out their best albums to date and we have heard superb sophomore albums from Quilt and the Allah-Las. Add to the above the excellent psych-folk debut albums from Cian Nugent and Ryley Walker and you can see it really has been an excellent year.

An album that I really should have picked up on sooner – it was released in April – is Peralta’s debut Time, Purpose & Gold. I saw the band support the Ugly Beats in early December and was really impressed - so much so I decided to check out their debut album. I’ve been listening to it non-stop for the last two weeks and, for my money, it is worthy of being placed alongside the above mentioned albums as one of the best of a very good year.

Peralta are a band from Gijon in the north of Spain. Individually, they have been around for a few years playing in different bands on the local and international scene. Angel Kaplan played with the most recent incarnation of the Cynics and has also put out some high quality self-composed solo material which is also worth checking out.

Gijon has a thriving local band scene - originally known as the “Xixon (or Gijon) Sound” in its heyday in the 90s (see here for more on the Xixon Sound) - over the years the town has given us the pure pop of Australian Blonde, the experimental post rock of Manta Ray, the folk-pop of Pauline en la Playa and the garage punk of Dr Explosion. Solo artist Francisco Nixon has shown an extra-ordinary talent for writing wonderful 60s inspired catchy pop songs and the very successful folk troubadour Nacho Vegas has turned himself into a kind of Spanish version of Leonard Cohen and/or Bob Dylan.

Peralta are veterans of this scene and recorded an EP in 2012 which included an excellent version of Buffy Saint-Marie’s Indian Cowgirl In The Rodeo but this year’s Time, Purpose & Gold is their first full length album together.

It is an extremely impressive debut - for my money one of 2014’s best albums. It’s full of well-crafted, self-composed songs that are not only very catchy but bring to mind the early 70s glory days of Clarence White era Byrds, The Flying Burrito Bros, CSNY, Neil Young and even the Eagles as well as harder rocking Brit outfits like The Who (on You're Going Too Far) and The Faces (on Waiting For The Past).

As well as composing the material themselves the band also prove themselves to be expert players. They can really get into a groove. Pablo Gonzalez’s drums are outstanding throughout – especially on You’re Going Too Far – his urgent and exhilarating Keith Moon style fills and splashes really propel the song.

Guitarists Ángel Kaplan and Marcos Montoto are superb instrumentalists. Check out the guitars on Lock You In My Dreams. Great riff and a helluva solo.

The album is impressively consistent but also quite varied. Behind The Fence recalls the brilliant and sadly missed blues and bluegrass picking style of Clarence White whereas People Inside Of Me is anthemic hard rock and is reminiscent of The Who circa Quadrophenia

All in all, Time, Purpose & Gold is a superb collection of West Coast influenced rock. The vocals may occasionally lack confidence - understandable if one remembers English is not their native language - however the band show an unerring knack for clever and catchy song-writing and make inventive and memorable rock’n’roll. These are tunes that really stick in your head.

This album brings to mind some of the things I hold dearest - The Byrds, David Crosby,  Neil Young, The Grateful Dead, The Who, The Faces and 60s Garage Rock. It freely drinks from the same well of Cosmic Amerikana and 70s rock but, much like The Woods, Beachwood Sparks and The Sadies, Peralta attempt add something new to the mix and, in so doing, they are worthy followers of that pioneering tradition.

Stunning West Coast Rock brought to you from the north coast of Spain. It’s already on my list of summer 2015 beach listening.

If you too love all of the above click this link and listen to the album in its entirety. You won’t be disappointed

Peralta are:

Marcos Montoto (guitar and vocals)
Angel Kaplan (guitar and vocals)
Pablo Gonzalez (drums and vocals)
Juancho Lopez (bass)

Peralta and The Ugly Beats in Gijon doing a wonderful version of the Flamin' Groovies' I Can't Hide.

More stranger than known

20 years of the Xixon Sound

"All Kinds Of You" - Ryley Walker's debut continues the folk tradition of Bert Jansch, Davy Graham and Tim Buckley 

"Born With the Caul" - Cian Nugent and the Cosmos  

Horizonte Eléctrico - 10 Great contemporary Spanish bands...

The Tarnished Gold - Beachwood Sparks

Woods "With Light and With Love" - Review 

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

1 comment:

  1. Check out this other spanish west coast influenced band: