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Outside In(fluence): Cruz de Navajas - "Dominación" album review

I've been out for a bit. Sorry about that. I've been applying to every job I can find, delivering food for UberEats, signing up for food stamps and medical assistance, trying to program apps and get other code stuff on GitHub, remastering and uploading World Belt Records stuff to Spotify and Amazon and iTunes and other streaming/download places, and just being with my wonderful partner. I had some issues last month with getting an artist for the Artist Special, but I have someone for this month and have some extra stuff planned for missing the one in May.

Anyway, here is a new Outside In(fluence) featuring Cruz de Navajas from Mexico City. The band was here in Pittsburgh the other day on the 4th. I wanted to go, but I wasn't feeling too good. I listened to the band a bit before the show, and I thought that the musick was grea. Unfortunately, I can't understand the lyrics, because I don't speak Spanish. Here's a review of everything else from Dominación.


Boy, this is a spooky album cover. I don't know if the title, Dominación, is referring to BDSM or a reference to social oppression or enslavement or the like. The title is small and stark. The image is a chalk white ghostly thing like the gothic works of Henry Fuseli and reminiscent of the covers of albums by Bauhaus or Joy Division. This is a very good cover indeed.

The first track on Dominación is "Depuración" (Debugging). This track has really poppy drums in the way that they sound like pops more than pop musick. It's easier to just say they are bright. The track overall is fast and high on the treble. It has a wild electric sound with a lot going on in the background, clustered chaos. Next is "Escalavas" (Slaves). There's a lot of reverb here, the echoes of drainage tunnels and strange regions of the universe where light fears to venture. The musick is furious and travels with the maximum velocity straightforward beyond. There's an almost watery sound at times to the instrumentation. "Ciudad 40" (City 40) follows with the vocalist sounding a bit like Siouxsie Sioux here. I really like the bouncy bass. There's a really cool guitar part in the middle, all rush and whirlwind, and the drums really pound it at the end. It reminds me of "Paris Skies" by Big Electric Cat, though a lot of this album does. "Las Personas son Bestias" (People Are Beasts) is the last track on this side. The synth is amazing on this track, like a dying musick box with an eerie fullness. The vocals fuse into that deep void too as the guitar buzzes over the top.

"Imperialismo" (Imperialism) starts side two. It's got a dance beat, but the rest of the track is still pretty downtempo. The vocals are really loooooong, the echoes trailing into those same spaces as before. "Parásitos" (Parasites) has more dense instrumentation with wild harmonics bouncing off of the angles of the night's polygons. The guitar bursts like a searing flame all over the song. I couldn't find a translation for the title of the next song, "Suna". This song is quite a trip; it's way different than the others, with less echo spaciness and more start and stop punkiness. It's also the only track on the album under 3 minutes. This song really reminds me of the band Parálisis Permanente from Spain. The final track, "SPK" comes through a small tornado and a burbling bass. The synths sound so harmonic and hollow, which is awesome. This last song really blows the sound way out and ends with a whirring moan.

I really enjoyed Dominación, and I'm not talking about BDSM. The album is a punchy space-channeling speed-thru that leaves one cold and out of sorts. I wish I knew enough Spanish to understand the lyrics, as they seem like they have something. The vocals are good, though a little over-the-top. I feel the same about the instruments too. There are some awesome sounds, especially the strange angular little jabs that come out of left field. I like all the layers to the songs as well. It's a bit loud overall, though. It's a bit samey too, though I don't know if I could say that if I knew the language. My issues with Dominación are pretty small, so this album by Cruz de Navajas gets a Good.

If you really liked this review or other reviews I've done, please support my work here on Ko-fi. Any amount helps for real. I'll be back again this week coming up as I get back into the swing of things. See you soon.

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