I will admit, I was not instantly blown away by this band. Seems a lot of folks are. But with more listens I found myself starting to “get it,” and develop the opinion that Criaturas are pretty damn good. Musically, Criaturas crank out semi-speedy hardcore punk (emphasis on the punk here!) that recognizes the roots in the sense that they keep it raw and to the point. No polish and no frills. The songs are catchy. The mid-tempo bits help give the songs some weight and hold your attention. The drummer can bang, and I do like the basic approach in “Libertad O Muerte,” since it’s catchy, somewhat heavy, and gets inside your brain quickly. The vocals can be hard to take sometimes. When she’s just shouting and shouting, the words tend to run together and there’s not much distinction. Granted, songs like “Espirito de Libertad” are raging, but when you have songs in the similar vein right after the other, it starts to blend. When she switches back and forth between shouting and singing, like in “Lobos en La Noche,” “Asko,”(which has lightening fast vocal delivery) and “Opresion,” then the songs have more character. There’s also the song “Invierno Nuclear,” which is a bit different from the rest of the songs on the album. Though still driving, it’s not as harsh in its approach. The vocals are a combination of sung and spoken, while the music pulls back a smidge. It’s a pretty good decision, as it switches things up and accentuates the power they can generate with their songs. Something I’m really into is how these guys have a driving melodic sound, and at the same time there are some elements of bands like Discharge popping up here and there. I’m on board!
–M.Avrg (Residue, residue-records.com)