Some bands really know how to unite. Drei Affen is one of those bands. They make a sport out of uniting labels on their releases. No less than 17 labels came together to release their debut self-titled EP and 12 labels were involved with the split with Coma Regalia. With only four labels involved in the release of second EP Seguimos Ciegxs you could say Drei Affen is slowing down. Perhaps that is the case when it comes to uniting labels, but it certainly is not the case when it comes to their music.
Before we go into the music, allow me to introduce Drei Affen to you. You might be tempted to make the mistake to think this is a German band, as I did. They are in fact Spanish. An interesting choice for a band name. Drei Affen translates to three monkeys, the ones the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Drei Affen describe themselves as a screamo, neo-crust, post-hardcore band. With the exception of the neo-crust label I can understand these categorizations. What I hear on this EP is very screamo-oriented with a dash of post-hardcore and I like that. What I don’t really hear are the crust-influences, unless it is a reference to the hunted vibe on this EP.
What do I mean with a hunted vibe? Well, over the last few months I have found that my car is the best place for me to focus on the music I review. There I have the time to listen to records over and over again without annoying anyone with it. Even if I am tempted to skip a song or select something else, I am unable to as I am behind the wheel. So, I’ve listened to this EP a lot on my daily commute. I think it did alter my driving a wee bit. I can only hope there’s not too much tickets for speeding waiting for me in the coming month.
As there are only six songs on this EP of just over 20 minutes I have heard this EP at least two times each commute. The main thing that made me notice the EP starts playing from the start again is the intro, where we hear a man questioning freedom. Even though these are six individual songs I listen to the EP as one large song, even though I am pretty sure it was never intended as such. These songs are not focussed on providing you with catchy hooks to easily recognize a song. Instead (to me at least) this all about transferring energy and a sense of urgency. The recognizability of the individual songs suffer from that. It is up to you if you think that is a good thing or a bad thing. I do not mind at all. In fact, even though all the lyrics are sung (or rather: screamed) in Spanish, I felt that sense of urgency really strong (so mission accomplished, I guess). I just had to look up their lyrics and was pleasantly surprised the band offers an English translation of the lyrics on their Bandcamp. Speaking of Bandcamp: the digital album is name your price.
There are three things I feel I need to mention. I can not not mention the drumming on this album. The drumming is very intense and really driving the album forward. It doesn’t stop there though. There is so much going on here! Not only tempo changes, but also small details that are added that make it note-worthy. The main reason I can comment on the drumming is because of the fitting production that gives every instrument the room to breathe. Yes, the production is loud and abrasive, but that is also fitting for this type of music. It is not that loud that it is tiring on the ears. The last thing to focus your attention on is the artwork. Sometimes I review a record or EP and realise I have an entire back catalogue to check out. This is the type of art that makes me check out other work by Rodrigo Almanegra.
This second EP shows that Drei Affen is at the top of their game. What they could add to their sound is a bit more diversity and in this way make the individual songs stand out more. If they can do that I am sure they are capable of releasing a truly awesome full lenght. Until that happens, this EP is something to come back to.
7.5 / 10
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