Monday, November 1, 2010

Macondo - s/t. 1972 USA


Macondo- s/t. 1972 Atlantic Records (Canada)

CD reissue: 2010 Wounded Bird

Packaging details: Wounded Bird are one of the last of the die hard, old school, reissue labels. No information, photos, history, bonus tracks... no nuthin'. But it's a legit reissue taken from the master tapes, which is better than no CD reissue at all. Like those old One Way reissues that everyone is in a hurry to upgrade away from today. I also own the LP and there's no info on it as well. Note the original LP pressing was Canadian. Not sure what the story behind that is either.

Notes:
* 1. Do It to Me 2:50
* 2. Why 3:15
3. Sneaking in the Back Door 3:15
4. Wishes 5:00
* 5. Can't Make Love Alone 3:59
* 6. Cayuco 5:10
* 7. Battery 3:34
8. Never Thought I'd See You Gone 3:36
* 9. Almendra 3:42
10. Get It on Girl 3:55

Because this is a bare bones issue (see release info above), I don't know much about Macondo. Reading online, it appears they were from East L.A. and discovered by Sergio Mendes (and it's produced by his company). Macondo were one of many Latin rock groups playing in the early 1970s, hoping to cash in on the success of Santana or even local California favorites like Malo and El Chicano. A typical "one and done" band that time forgot.

Other than 6) and, to a lesser extent 9), Macondo do not really attempt a Santana like sound. Macondo are more a gritty street-level fighting group. Probably 1) and 10) are the most bare knuckle tracks on the album, and are here to let you know Macondo mean business. 2) is the most out of place song here, sounding like a Latin rock version of Crosby Stills and Nash. I found it a highly appealing combination myself. 3) & 4) are rock n' roll throwaways and forced me to deduct a point from the album's score. 5) & 7) are what define Macondo best. A heavy rocking sound, nothing too complicated, with some great grooves and organ/guitar solos. In fact both could be considered a proto-Chango, and for us at UMR there is no better Latin rock album than Chango's debut. 8) is the other odd track out along with 2). There's a distinct late 60s Haight-Ashbury hippy vibe, but with some very interesting heavy Hammond organ leads.