Los Pacientes – El silencio del adios
A little journey through the sewers of the internet has brought us a hidden gem from Argentina.
Nothing but mystery surrounds this 2015 release. All I know about this band (are they even a band? One can kinda guess from this cover) is that they are from Argentina, Buenos Aires to be precise—the same vibrant city that saw the birth of artists like Reynols, Dios, Suarez and Cheating Spouses Caught on Tape—debuted with their first EP in 2010, released a live recording from 2011 in 2012 and then released our current object of interest, the peculiar El silencio del adios (The Silence of Goodbye).
This record consists of eleven tracks, which you can download for free and listen to on their Bandcamp page. But that’s it. It stops, there’s nothing more. Los Pacientes (The Patients) is a very common phrase in Spanish, so Google and other search engines didn’t help much. What, then? The only thing we can do is listen to their music and dig through the cracks that each listen will start to lay bare before us. Sometimes music is all about that process, so let’s grab our tools and start.
“Condenados” and its subtle dissonant sax, galloping with a turbulent bass that carries the song, in all its grimness and cryptic noise hidden within its layers an out of reach mystery, opens the lid of El silencio del adios. “Doomed by glory to be forgotten” are the first words grimly uttered by the singer, welcoming us into the world of Los Pacientes. The song opens the album as if it’s slowly cutting through flesh, opening a wound. It takes its time. “Tus labios”, the second track, has a hypnotizing slow rhythm, with mesmerizing tempo changes and a somewhat languid atmosphere, with a dirty sound filled with a vampiric vocalizations. The words coagulate in your ears as they replicate. The wound grows bigger and the knife goes even slower with the languid love of “Vete mi amor”, a romance that gets washed away in blood, drop by drop, gently, but decidedly, as the blade kisses your skin. “Go away, my love. Now, please!”, the singer repeats time after time, like chanting a spell, concentrated, waiting for it to work.
After the three first tracks the albums starts changing a bit. We’re still in the same place, but it feels different. It is something that comes from inside. The fourth track, “Condujiste toda la noche”, has the vibe of a dissonant blues-punk, a clumsy zombified rock that turns into pure, direct, raw punk rock in the next one, “No todas las noches son tragos”. The same night-fuelled spirit, the same dimly lit corner aura that lingers over the release remains, but the approach is different. The body starts reacting to these songs in a new way.
If The Cramps’ twilight-zone energy is what you vibe with, you need to hear “Me arrodillo a tus pies” and “Asfixia”. The band surfs alright, but there’s no sun and the waves they’re riding are grey and gooey, even toxic, drifting all the way to the cemetery, crashing into cold tombstones in a bloody mixture of instruments; guitars, bass, drums, bones, meat, everything. That’s how we dance in here, with our dislocated bodies moving loudly to the rhythm of distant songs.
So far, we’ve identified two parts in the album, two moments of two specific moods. We can say that with “Mi cueva” there’s a third one starting, one that synthesizes both. A marriage of something both strong and limp. While “No vas a volver” feels weak in comparison to the rest of the album, tracks like “O.O.O.O.” (one of my favorites) brings it back to life and perfectly represents this synthesis. Straightforward, confrontational, textural and effective, something that’s again repeated in the eight minute closing track “El hormiguero”, with its overdriven bass that has just the right tone for this kind of sluggish music. Now, the tired body is in its last stage of rotting and the worms might have a bite after the curtains have fallen.
While the sound and aesthetics of Los Pacientes might belong to days long gone, their resonant echoes still manage to pulsate inside those who are open to what they have to offer, to go on with the journey, to receive the message hidden in this unsolved mystery: let things break and spill, go the way you want and go with it all. Look Death directly into their eyes, enjoy the process of decay, give in to your deepest desires, accept your impulses and let them flow wildly through you. That’s the only way, they told us: grab life itself with your hands, with your nails and your teeth, with all your limbs, strongly, and suffocate it. And as you both run out of air, let the pleasure come to you.