Bad times are ripe with great rock: introducing CONTRABANDA, the Spanish heroes

These are not good times in Spain: the economy breathes as rare as a yogin in trance, unemployment soars high and dark, like the fierce birds in The Wall.


Bad times, no kidding.

But the lotus flower grows out of the mud and blossoms above the muddy water.

(shameless copy/paste from one of those rarely breathing, trance inducing yogin websites)

So is rock music, and my favorite places to look for great rock nowadays are the ones in dire straits!

** **

I know how Vlad, my mid-twenties nephew, grew up: surrounded by music, solid rock music.

He lives in Madrid for many years, so I asked him about the lay of the land in the city of Prado.

He knows my weak point: bands with a charismatic frontman, counterpointed by a guitarist who is not shy on the wah-wah, and pumped up by a relentless bass/drums brotherhood.

Without hesitation, he recommended CONTRABANDA (Facebook Contrabanda Rock) === (YouTube channel)

Bull’s eye.


Their 2013 album, Despertar,  is available on Google Play Music, including in Canada.


Just watch the 7-minute clip below. The lyrics are somber and thoughtful (and, damn, they sound sexy in Spanish, ladies!), the voice does the hard work opening the track, but what happens after the first 3 minutes…is blistering rock jamming, the guitar-bass-drums uplifting brotherhood.


My sister met them in Madrid and thinks it would be a good idea for them to switch to English.

What I think is they must stay as they are, and not think in terms of “where should my music find a larger audience, or sell”. True rock is about not thinking about anyone else, just being pissed off by yourself.

And rock in Spanish is riveting.



Soy yo la voz,

qué hostil confundió.

Y es cuando los payasos,

andan equivocados

en circos acabados,

antes de comenzar a ser……

…. un puto disfraz.


Valor, nación,

morir por tu voz.

Me siento a cada paso, político mamado,

las madres lloran dudas,

con tal de no tener fe.


Soy yo la voz,

qué hostil confundió,

borrar o ser borrado, morir en un estado

de niños malcriados

antes de comenzar a ser….


No mirar…. no mirar


Estaba controlado por algo ya pactado,

maniatado al problema de ser un fracaso,

soy yo… la voz… callado estás mejor.


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