Breed 77 - Cultura
Better that a band offer something of themselves than being seated alongside others in the same pew, each one nodding in time with the others. Better then that Spanish rock band, Breed 77, bring their Spanish influences into their music, including flamenco guitar and flourishes of Mediterranean folk, in preference to the nodding of vanilla rock.
Of course Breed 77 ought to pay their dues to Sepultura who twisted traditional Brazilian influences through their hard rock, creating something that, at the time, was unique, occasionally thrilling and forever willing to experiment. To put Breed 77 alongside Sepultura is not placing too high a claim on their standing, albeit a claim that lacks the commercial success to justify the comparison but with their April/May 2004 tour sponsored by Clear Channel and with alternative rock stations A-listing La Ultima Hora, the opportunity now rests with Breed 77.
It is with La Ultima Hora that Cultura offers its finest moments, opening with moments of rock between over dark, Spanish folk and Pedro Caparros' soaring backing vocal. Between the rock verses, the folk of the chorus gives the song a bleaker sound but instead of this being a garish clash of Spanish folk and hard rock, the influences are subtle enough to only colour the music, heard to best effect on these leaps between flamenco and electric guitar. Almost as good is the twisting, Spanish-language Oracion Final, the main riff of which jumps around influences outside of hard rock although still played on twin electrics and Breed 77's rhythm section of Pete Chichon and Stuart Cavila.
Elsewhere on Cultura, there is the gritty folk of The River, which, alongside La Ultima Hora, has recently been released as a single, and if not pop then the soaring choruses that touch on the otherwise hard rock sound of The Only Ones and Resurrection before Cultura slows down into the acoustic ballad of Numb.
The album fades out to an acoustic version of Breaking The Silence but by that time, Breed 77 have already shown themselves capable of small moments of pop amongst great songs that mixes the music of their Spanish home with that of hard rock. When both come together, as they do on La Ultima Hora and Oracion Final, Cultura is great but, elsewhere, more of what made those two songs the standout tracks would have been welcomed.