Album Review: The Parrots – Los Niños Sin Miedo

By on Thursday, 1st September 2016 at 12:00 pm

The Parrots Los Ninos Sin Miedo album coverMadrid band The Parrots formed in 2008 when members Diego Garcia, Alex de Lucas and Larry Balboa met at university and instantly found comfort within a group of like-minded artists, photographers, DJs and musicians. The band’s previous EPs ‘Aden Arabie’ and ‘Weed for the Parrots’ were released in 2013 and 2015, respectively. Following their signing to Heavenly Recordings, the trio wasted no time in preparing for the release of their debut album: ‘Weed for the Parrots’ was released in May last year and by September, their album was already fully recorded.

I’m not very clued in on the music scene of mainland Europe, let alone specifically the DIY scene. But when you take The Parrots, often described as a garage rock band, and their debut album ‘Los Niños Sin Miedo’, there seems to be quite a focus on rehashing previous eras of popular music and regurgitating them. Some would say note for note. However, their album takes us back further than garage, as far back as the Sixties’ Los Angeles surf scene, when bands like The Road Runners and The Surfaris were topping the charts. The Parrots employ devices of surf rock but with the added apathy of stoners, because essentially that’s what they are. Twangy lead guitars weave around chord progressions that don’t stray far from chords 1, 4 and 5, held together with bass lines that stick to said chord tones with a simple open drum groove, would sum up of the album if boiled down to technical terms. But that’s not what we’re about here at TGTF, so let’s dig in further.

‘Too High to Die’ isn’t exactly the perfect example of what The Parrots are about, but it clearly showcases all of the elements listed above. There is a delicacy within the opening track that is almost misleading towards the rest of the album. Lightly reverberated guitars and a bass line that uses the major third exclusively lead the listener to believe The Parrots are serious about what they do, when actually they are three party animals that smoked and drank their way through the recording process of this album. The additional percussion and irregular hand clap rhythm are a nice touch, which show a bit of thought went in somewhere to keep the song interesting. The atmosphere is instantly shattered towards the midpoint of the track, when Garcia rips into a badly played solo, on a guitar with so much gain it sounds more like feedback than notes being played. I must add in here that these solos are somewhat of a constant throughout the album, even though they add no significant value to the music and do not progress the tracks in any way.

‘Let’s Do It Again’, along with ‘Casper’ and ‘E.A. Presley’, make up the bones of ‘Los Niños Sin Miedo’, each of them carrying the same fundamental elements heard in ‘Too High To Die’. On each, there’s an allowance for a bit of experimentation within the production as well as the band’s delivery. As each of these tracks pass, there is a growing sense of relaxation on the band’s part, to such an extent they aren’t caring at all when it comes to the boundaries of what is acceptable or not, notably with Garcia’s vocal projections. He applies more grit and gradually turns his projection of notes into a moaning of sounds. As the album progresses, Garcia’s vocals become more and more erratic and less confined to the fact that he is a singer in a band.


But the album isn’t totally filled with light-hearted jangly guitar melodies and major chord progressions. Sometimes songs don’t even have a progression at all, as is the case in ‘Jame Gumb’. A constant rolling bass line goes over one chord that Garcia rings out once every four bars plus a vocal melody that disguises itself within the depths of the sound creates an heavy, eerie atmosphere. Again, the track doesn’t seem to have much substance. With the Parrots, there is very little movement when considering song structure or subject matter. So rather than triggering a specific emotion or telling a story, it’s more like music for the sake of being music.

The Parrots do a great job in providing a sense of nostalgia within their surf rock reminiscent sound. However, instead of attempting to further the genre, with fresh and innovative ideas, The Parrots provide a basic outline of the greats they idolised and filled in the rest with whatever they felt like playing. If this album had of come out during the time of any of their biggest inspirations – Elvis, Buddy Holly, The Groupies or Marc Bolan – the Parrots as a band wouldn’t be so openly accepted as they are today. The level of musicianship and performance quality within ’ Los Niños Sin Miedo’ wouldn’t live up to standard of the greats listed above. As far as they’re concerned with 2016, it appears that The Parrots have decided music has gone has far as it can go and now that we’ve reached the limit, they’ve started over.


‘Los Niños Sin Miedo’, the debut album from Madrid garage trio The Parrots, is out now on Heavenly Recordings. For more on The Parrots on TGTF, go here.

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