(Reseña en español en ésta página)
Like many people, I became acquainted with Spanish rockers Extremoduro by virtue of “La Ley Innata” (The Innate Law), a concept album they released in 2008. It had such an impact on me that I went to any lengths to get my hands on a physical copy of the album, eventually buying a boxed set with their entire discography just to have it.
And that was a really, really good thing. Otherwise, I would not have listened to their first albums. Certainly, I wouldn’t have listened to the one being reviewed right now, issued in 1993: “¿Dónde Están Mis Amigos?” (“Where Are My Friends?”)
It’s a well-known fact that adversity is an artist’s greatest ally. Just think of Quadrophenia, if you will. Or XTC’s Skylarking. Yet, the emotional dilapidation and moral degradation of this album is something unprecedented. The evilness it evinces, the violence it holds and the utter madness of the characters mirrors what were the darkest days in the life of singer/songwriter Robe Iniesta, who was also the founder and leader of Extremoduro. The band had just run out on him, he had been abandoned by his girlfriend, and his heroin addiction was at the end of its tether. And the end result was this: an album that highlighted how in art the pain itself can become the greatest healer. Continue reading