Maybe it’s my gringo blood, but I couldn’t get a handle on “Fother Muckers.” The Chilean band has been together since 2005, is very well known, and played for a packed house at La Batuta in Plaza Ñuñoa on Thursday night, July 31. The crowd was mostly Chilean, with a few gringos sprinkled in here and there. It was around 1:30am when the headliners took the stage to the screaming delight of their many fans.
While everyone else was rocking, I was trying to figure out what was going on up there. They sounded blaringly cluttered, and I just didn’t get it. There were way too many components.
With six band members, it sounded like they were almost competing with each other. Two, sometimes three guitars, a bass guitar, drums, bongos, a whistle and an erratic, Jim Morrison-esque front-man, that sang, screamed and at one point belched into the mic. I thought of what the high school band audition judge told Marty McFly’s band in “Back to the Future:” “Hold it, fellas. I’m afraid you’re just too darn loud.”
There’s no arguing that the band, formed “with a lot of luck,” according to lead singer Cristobal Briceño, was talented. Their influences include Creedence Clearwater Revival, Al Green, and folklorica, which show the varied nature of their sound.
They played a few cool islandy blues songs that I enjoyed, and finished the night with some stripped down solid rock, that reminded me of the Foo Fighters, and was a great way to end the set.
But I left the concert scratching my head. They either have great lyrics, a lot of loyal friends, or I am tone-deaf to good music from this culture. They have a cool website and are about to release their second album, “Justo y Necesario” (Just and Necessary), in September. Their first CD, “No Soy Uno” came out in 2007.
Maybe this is good Chilean rock. You tell me.