Lenguas Largas and Far Corners, Sky Bar, Oct. 26

Far Corners appeared out of nowhere (actually, Las Cruces, New Mexico, but let's not digress) sounding as though they were genetically engineered to contain all my favorite musical elements. Screeching and droning like a rusted subway? Electric guitar and bass alternately scraping and squalling? Tambourine as lead instrument? Check, check, and check. This threesome was simply incredible — just thrilling in every sense of the word. I couldn't make out one single word sung, and the voice sounded like another muddled square wave in the overall mix, but Far Corners' alchemical process made static sublime, and gave fuzz a future.

As for Lenguas Largas, what can you say about a band who aspires for rock 'n' roll but elevates it to great art? Though they'd most likely despise the comparison, Lenguas Largas, in many ways, is Tucson's Nirvana — not sonically, however. Like Nirvana did at the time of their breakthrough, Lenguas Largas sum up a long era of underground rock music and make it digestible without sacrificing any grit. They also have an uncanny ability to be loved by pretty much any audience; their presence is absent of elitism, and the music is downright fun. Unlike Nirvana, this group has made most of their musical influences untraceable. They may aspire to be a simple rock 'n' roll band, but with three drummers and everyone else usually playing sparse and rhythmically, the group feels more like a pre-soul R&B act, like James Brown and the Famous Flames. Every song is danceable, sharp, and focused. Singer/guitarist Isaac Reyes shouts and shimmies over a perfectly orchestrated din of percussion and melodies.

Lenguas Largas' set was split equally between favorites like "Yardsale Heart," the explosive opener "I'm Goat," and "How a Man Should Live," and more obscure material. Each time I see the band, the performance is more intense, even on their oldest songs. That passion and commitment is obviously key to their success, as is craft, skill, originality, and Reyes' indelible, unique voice. By the show's peak, the masterful "I Feel," the beats, circular guitar parts (the prettiest ones are always played by Mark Beef), and Reyes' howls had ceded control of my once stationary legs and cemented, once again, Lenguas Largas' indisputable greatness.

More by Joshua Levine


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