Lozen – Para Vida

3 out of 5

Label: Silent Queef Records

Produced by: Christiaan Morris

Grinding, emotive, and loud – considering this is a clatter made only by two people – Lozen’s Para Vida perhaps just jumps around a bit too much between being something forcefully unique, and something more indicative of its grunge-y influences. With only six songs to spread that bounding about, there’s not enough room to stick to one groove long enough to push it into the realm of greatness. Still, an amazing amount of great moments – and at least one or two great songs – are here, and even when Lozen is getting jiggy with some familiar 90s-esque rockin’, they do a good job with it. It’s just hard to top its peaks: the absolute pummeling blast of opener Clay Cliffs; the meditative march of Menos Mai. Elsewhere, when the duo falls back on some bass-driven funk rock, or more harmonic stuff like The Breeders, it’s easy to fall out of the trance imbued by the aforementioned tracks; pleased by the groove and noodling, just not as immersed. But even during such tracks – the latter half of Le Dragon; the closing, tribal drumming on Dig Deep – the group will prove themselves as all-your-attention-worthy once more. Though this dual nature of the songs is also part of the sort of uneven nature of the record as a whole.

That said, when guitarist Annie Hozoji Matheson-Margullis and drummer Justine Maria Valdez hit their stride, it’s your Helms Alee fever-dreams come true, borne again into a new and sleeker form. All of Lozen’s material is worth owning for such moments.