From the opening track of the album, Mexico indie rockers Bengala cut the introductory nonsense and go straight to the in-your-face intensity. Titled simply Oro, this followup to their self-titled debut album contains twelve songs that feature their own complex styles without being overwhelming. While the strong beginning of opening track “Carcel” sets the bar pretty high, the rest of the album fulfills your expectations.
While most indie bands achieve their distinctive lighthearted mood with the melody featured within the guitar or piano, this band’s melodic lines are more focused in the bass line with a complimentary drum beat that is so irresistible, it’s hard for even the adamant listener to refrain from dancing. Also using minor chords against the genre’s standard of brighter chord progressions, the end result is a darker indie album, rather than a carefree happy vibe like the other similar bands. However, the album is still enjoyable for both the indie fans and for those listeners who usually avoid sugary rock music.
A perfect example of this is the second song “Voy Por Ti.” The intro starts with a straight garage guitar riff reminiscent of The Hives, but quickly evolves into a more energetic tune with the addition of the lively rhythm section.
However, with every album, there are flaws. There are moments in the album when the keyboards have this electronic organ feel that resemble the soundtrack from old school NES video games. Bengala walks that very fine line that could make their sound very clever or very cheesy. Luckily, this quirk stays on the clever side.
Before the last song “Cueva, “Intro Cueva” is what it implies; it’s a short introduction that progresses into the punk-rock closer. It seems a bit out of place to have this introduction so late in the album, especially when this random instrumental abruptly disrupts the consistency. On the bright side, “Cueva” is a great upbeat way to wrap up this eclectic indie record from the heart of Mexico.