The beauty in minimalism is how much can be said and evoked with as little as possible.
Such is the case with “La Dinastia Scorpio,” the first album by Alt. Rock group “El Mato A Un Policia Motorizado” (He Killed A Motorcycle Cop) to be released in the U.S.
Since its inception, the band has used its musical skills to create compelling tales out of tiny vignettes taken from everyday life. The band does so again to great effect on this latest album.
Nacional Records, home to other Latin American artists such as Ana Tijoux, AJ Davila, and La Vida Boheme, signed a deal with El Mato earlier this year to bring the album stateside after a successful international run since its original release at the end of 2012.
El Mato made its self-titled debut 10 years ago in their hometown of La Plata, Argentina near Buenos Aires.
They grew in popularity over the years until their fame exploded seemingly overnight following the release of the much-loved Scorpio single “Mujeres Bellas Y Fuertes” in 2012.
“With this recent album” said singer/bassist Santiago Motorizado, “we were really able to reach a point that we couldnt before. That album was released in Spain, Mexico, and now also the United States. It was also well-received in Argentina and lots of people finally gave us a chance with that album.”
The U.S. version of the album gets a few tweaks and bonuses. For starters, it starts off with “Mujeres Bellas Y Fuertes,” the lead single that caught the ears of bloggers all over Latin America and launched the band’s career out of Argentina. The original opening track, “El Magnetismo,” now serves as the album’s closer.
The rest of the tracklist is also switched around with songs that initially appeared later on the album appearing earlier and vice-versa. As a bonus, the album also includes four tracks from El Mato’s previous albums. The tracks mesh well with the rest of the album and don’t jar the listener out of the listening experience.
That experience is marked by a minimalism that has grown into El Mato’s trademark. The songs are never overproduced, polished enough to sound like a proper studio recording while maintaining enough of a rough edge to give it live-from-your-garage sound.
Lyrically, the songs elevate the most mundane, everyday occurrences into wonderful tales worthy of a ballad or simple guitar solo. Santiago lets his friends and family know that everything will work out on “Mas O Menos Bien” (More Or Less Okay) while “Yoni B” is a dedication to a friend who no longer hangs out within their circle. Santiago also ruminates on missed opportunities on “El Fuego Que Hemos Construido” (The Fire We Created).
“Part of our sound is to look for simple things in our lyrics and in our music,” explained Santiago. “Minimalism, you know? We dont want to overdo anything.”
La Dinasta Scorpio is available now via Nacional Records.