Casablancas Release Their Debut Ep: “Please Don’t Be Like Me”

Good ol’ Pete Townshend. He releases a chunky bio, and the standout passage is the one in which he confesses he fancied the ass off Mick Jagger when he was young. Actually, he mentions that he fancied another part of the Rolling Stone’s physiognomy. But let’s leave it at that, OK?
It just had to be.
Then, Kelly Clarkson announces the release of her first “Best Of” package, and when you glance at the tracklist “Sober” is nowhere in sight. “When beauty meets ignorance they shout in the street”, right darling? What’s your excuse?
It just had to be.
And now, Casablancas release their first EP, “Please Don’t Be Like Me”.
And is it any good?
It just had to be.

Casablancas, my half-blood brothers from the Merseyside. I’m going to write a movie script about the time I spent with the core of them when I was younger, maybe someone at Disney buys it for the next “Star Wars” trilogy. For chrissake, they hired Billy Ray Cyrus to do a show! It can’t be that difficult…

This EP (download it for free) was recorded by the band and their producer, Álvaro de León.  Casablancas comprises Martín Rela on voice and guitar, Syd Jay on guitar, Nacho Lorenzelli on bass and Seba Moroni on drums. Álvaro de León added guitars, piano and Hammond to several numbers.
In case you want to put faces to names, there you go. Yes, I know. It would be delightful to have one of these magnificent photographs in which the whole band is featured in a clockwise manner. But I never learned to use Photoshop, I was too busy learning how to write movie scripts, OK?

Martín Rela


Syd Jay


Nacho Lorenzelli


Seba Moroni


The guys define themselves as a group of friends who love making music and having a good time on the liner notes. But that doesn’t mean they are doing things by half measures. No, not at all. They’re a true example of commitment, and a firm reminder that anything can be accomplished by sheer strength of will and devotion.

“Please Don’t Be Like Me” features five different compositions, all penned by the band. You have the two songs they had recorded when Casablancas came around a couple of years ago, and the band played their first “Pepsi Bandplugged” competition amidst pussy-willows, cattails and fluorescent adolescents. They are “0800 Casablancas” and “Liverpool”. They have been revamped, and their present selves are a lot beefier thanks to the fuller-sounding production.

But the new cuts are the ones that make more of a lasting impression, for the simple reason that these songs reveal a sense of dynamics that I just didn’t know the guys had in them. Besides, Martín’s voice has grown different – there’s more of a gruff in it. Time doesn’t go by in vain, I guess. It’s only natural that the moon and the sun will change places, as if in a race to meet the ribbons of the morning first.
And cigarettes can fuck up one’s voice in no time, also. Whatever. Martín’s vocals now suit the material a great deal better. Continue reading

Casablancas (Uruguayan Independent Artist)

Casablancas are Martin Rela (vocals & rhythm guitar), Syd J. Gerones (lead guitar & backing vocals), Nacho Lorenzelli (bass guitar), Freddy Suarez (keyboards) and Seba Moro (drums & percussion).

Casablancas are Martin Rela (vocals & rhythm guitar), Syd J. Gerones (lead guitar & backing vocals), Nacho Lorenzelli (bass guitar), Freddy Suarez (keyboards) and Seba Moro (drums & percussion).

It’s a little known fact, but it’s absolutely true. H.G Wells (one of the founding fathers of science fiction) did spend some time in Uruguay. He was in the country during the summer of 1879 – 1880, in the seaside town of La Pedrera. Accounts of his stay there are unanimous, if only because the population of La Pedrera back then consisted only of 8 people, 3 dogs and 1 dalek.

We reportedly know that Wells used to wake at 7 in the morning every single day, walk through the beach until dusk and then come back to his little cabin. He did that the whole summer.

Then, on the final day of his stay there he clenched his fist, pointed it to the balmy sky and screamed at the top of his lungs, “SHIT, ISN’T EVER ANYTHING TO DO IN THIS COUNTRY???”.

He then had a kind of mystic experience. It is said he saw something blazing in the sky. If he had been Caetano Veloso he would have written the lyric that goes “and my eyes/go looking for flying saucers in the sky”. Instead, he dreamed up the story of the Martians landing on Earth that you can read on his seminal work “The War Of The Worlds” (1898). He turned the joyous dunes of La Pedrera into Horsell Common, and he came with a killer virus that sent the poor old Martians to kingdom come simply because he caught some scorching disease while he was in Uruguay, and he had to go to the toilet six times per day for three years afterwards.

A Tripod From "The War Of The Worlds" Raising Havoc

A Tripod From "The War Of The Worlds" Raising Havoc

This history is little-known because there has always been a kind of multinational conspiracy to keep Uruguay off fictionalized works. Powers too evil and too daunting collude to keep the effervescent South American country from raising its head in the world of literature.

And in a certain sense, some things have remained the same in Uruguay ever since Wells paid us that veiled visit. There’s still people who scream at the sky out of sheer boredom, and lament their lack of prospects. They vent their frustration in different ways. Some play soccer and marry Argentinean models, some have music blogs where they write about anything that comes into their minds, and some others pick up their guitars and play good old rock and roll, paying a direct homage to the best British and American music that ever existed. Continue reading