La Medio Siglo (Uruguayan Independent Artist)

by Emilio Pérez Miguel on August 10, 2011

"Altos Con Rulos" By La Medio Siglo

It’s official: humankind is ending on the 15th of March, 2012, and the world will be left spinning like a loony balloon. Well, Facebook is going to bite the dust right there and then. Which for quite a handful of people is roughly the same thing. They won’t be able to spy on their exes, they won’t be able to insult others indirectly, they won’t be able to tag people in insalubrious pictures… they will have to learn to do without all that. Like my reclusive namesake in robes of white once wrote, “How dreary—Marbles—After playing Crown”.

Me? Since I’m a very balanced sort of fellow, and as calm as a fruit stand in New York, I won’t miss any of the things listed above. I will, however, miss befriending young bands there. My, the number of “musical” friends I’ve got easily offsets my “real life” friends. And my “real life friends” count seems to be dwindling, too. Last week, my two BFF (that’s “Best Friends Forever”, in case you don’t listen to Taylor Swift) said they were going to buy pizza, and they never came back! Sigh…

Well, I guess I’ll have to soldier on. And hold onto the remnants of the day, celebrating all these truly motivated bands I’m still getting to know through the Winklevoss twins’ main claim to fame. The most recent one is La Medio Siglo [The Half-Century], a Uruguayan unit that plays a very energetic mixture of rock and funk.

The band is made up of the communal mystique of Paul Higgs (guitar, vocals), Thomas Bate (guitar), Pablo Deferrari (bass) and Manuel Souto (drums), and its first EP has just been issued. It’s titled “Altos Con Rulos” [Tall And Curly], and it’s available for free on La Medio Siglo’s official website.

Leaving aside the title track (which is just a spirited way to start proceedings),
the EP has got four songs where teenage staples are articulated over music that is muscular and very well-written, with exciting dynamics and histrionics. I recall that the first time I chatted with Paul Higgs (the band’s guitarist and singer) my first remark upon listening to one of the cuts on the EP (which they were recording and mixing back then) was “Shit, you guys have got quite a swing!”. I actually said that aloud as I was typing the words down, and I swear I sounded as earnest as Samuel L. Jackson when he went “Snakes in the motherfuckin’ plane!”.

Well, now that I’ve listened to the full EP I can honestly say they’ve managed to transmit all that energy and fervour into a fully-realized work, where the loudest, most danceable moments like “Micrófono” [Microphone] are perfectly married with cuts like “Cerrado” [Closed]. That’s precisely my favorite song on the EP, although they all have got their moments. Even the one that doesn’t really do a lot for me (“Viento Mágico” [Magic Wind]) is redeemed by a taut vocal and some strong choruses. And there’s also a song in English named “Dogs” that has some of the catchiest instrumental passages of the whole EP.

And coming back to “Cerrado”, I really don’t know why I enjoy it so much. Maybe it’s the clever lyrics, maybe it’s the insistent guitars and the drum flourishes. Probably it’s the pauses and the build-up of the whole song, with that strident ending. I couldn’t really say. All I know is that “Cerrado” is the one song I would use to introduce the band to guests, friends in need and Japanese tourists.

All things considered, “Altos Con Rulos” is a very auspicious debut. Check it out. Personally, I look forwards to catching the band in concert soon. I’m sure that when playing live La Medio Siglo can make a Jumpin’ Jack Flash out of every person in the audience. And I’m ready to wager a bet! There, my copy of Kelly Clarkson’s “All I Ever Wanted” against your autographed copy of the Beatles’ “Rubber Soul”…

This is La Medio Siglo’s official website

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