Ponchototal confuses me. Nacional Records usually takes excellent talent under its wing. But in this case, I just don’t see it. Listening to stuff like Ponchototal reminds me how unfair album reviews are, because really, everything comes down to taste. And Argentine band Poncho’s debut album is definitely not my taste.
Poncho is a new dance/electronic rock group created by DJ Javier Zuker, Fabian Picciano and Leandro Lopatin. The 10-track collection includes guests and collaborations with the likes of Luis Alberto Spinetta and Banda de Turistas, and mixes Spanish and English tracks with musical influences that range across decades and genres. Ponchototal could be a winner. That said, it is not.
The album’s a mix of ordinary, forgettable party music. It manages to regurgitate past music in a really bad way, making every song sound familiar and, I’ll just say it, stale. “Lend me the light” sounds way too ‘80s, kinda New Wave-ish electro pop. “No no no” has an intro that’s resonant of Chili Pepper’s “Higher Ground” and the vocals on “Please me” are way too The Cure (sometimes even hitting up Cher), it’s unfair. Throughout the album, one can’t help but think these guys are far, far from anything original. It’s obvious Zuker, Picciano and Lopatin are nostalgic, and for this very same reason, their talent is completely lost.
If there’s light amidst the Ponchototal darkness, it’s the intro, “Are you ready for Poncho?” and the closing track, “Tantra sky.” Other than that, what’s good about Poncho and their debut album is that both try to reel in international listeners to Argentina’s music scene. It’s a respectable collaboration, but unfortunately not a memorable one.
Watch the music video for “Kansas” below: