De Este Lado del Camino
Olita del Altamar
Café Tacvba isn’t nearly as well known in the U.S. as it is in Latin America, but the Mexican quartet is one of the best rock bands anywhere. El Objeto Antes Llamada Disco—Café Tacvba’s first full-length since 2007’s Sino—was worth the wait. It's a finely crafted effort, displaying the sort of ambition and scope that's become rare in rock in recent years. (The tracks were recorded live, but that fact is hard to detect.) The two opening cuts are psychedelic dazzlers. “Pajaros” ecstatically throbs as vocals soar in avian fashion, and “Andamios” is even better. The latter track’s hypnotic groove, buoyed by driving bass, gives way to an expansive, Middle Eastern–flavored bridge before returning to a beat you want to ride forever. “De Este Lado del Camino” is a slice of pop glory tinged with mellotron-like tones, while “Espuma” brings to mind both West African and pre-Columbian music. The energetic “Olita de Altamar” is also marked by indigenous influences, plus surf-rock stylings. One of 2012’s finest, El Objeto closes with “Volcan,” a relatively quiet piece that simmers with tension.