2019 Album of the Year : Los Blancos : Sbwriel GwynReleased 27.09.2019 : Libertino Records
The opening track of Los Blancos' debut album, Dilyn Iesu Grist, bursts out of the speakers with all the frantic energy of a temporarily caged wild bear suddenly finding itself free, or Boris Johnson pursuing an opportunity for political debasement.
It is two years since the band's magnificently raucous first single announced their presence on the West Wales music scene; Dilyn Iesu Grist states immediately they have lost none of their edge.
Los Blancos have provoked thoughts of The Pixies, Brian Jonestown Massacre and Pavement (the latter two acknowledged influences). Recordings such as Cadw Fi Lan, Chwarter i Dri, Cadi and the laid-back stroll of the album's title track show a band nonchalantly carving out its own space.
The sheer power of these songs cannot be overstated.
The lyrics are almost entirely Welsh, yet the sound is universal; an irresistible sonic expression of disaffection and disdain.
Most of the tracks are built around Gwyn Rosser's distinct, languid vocals, ferocious guitars that flow like molten lava through the music, and brutally percussive bass and drums - with the unaffected, electrifying exuberance that has always marked Los Blancos out as something very special ever present.
At the very end of Sbwriel Gwyn there are nine minutes of rough-house musical perfection formed by a triptych - Clarach, a song which rolls again and again from somnolent verses into a chorus that is a surfable wave of noise and emotion, a dense, late-night urban instrumental, and a final minute of mayhem redolent of early Replacements albums.
There's depth here, shifts of pace, half-light and shade. It only takes one listen through to realise that Sbwriel Gwyn is collective discordant-pop genius at play.
LOS BLANCOS I Dilyn Iesu Grist