Reviews

Farmaco, Descolonizar (Discos Enfermos Records/Educación Cínica, 2021)

Well, god damned if this doesn’t scratch an itch that I’ve been reaching for in a frustratingly remote part of my brain. I was mere minutes away from stick a pipe cleaner up my nose to risk giving myself a very embracing, and difficult to explain, lobotomy, before this little firecracker hit me in the back of the head like an exploding newspaper, thrown by a particularly dead-eyed paper boy.

I listen to a lot of hardcore, but very few releases fit as naturally into the tilled grooves of my particular set of interests as well as Farmaco’s Descolonizar 7 inch. I don’t even need to water it. It’s settled in and started germinating like the plant from Little Shop of Horrors on its own. All I have to do is enjoy watching it grow teeth and an attitude while it boards rent-free in my brain. 

Farmaco is an Argentine hardcore band fronted by a vicious-sounding woman who calls herself Cromi. They dropped a demo a little while back and Descolonizar is their score-settling follow-up.

While a lot is made of the group's affinity for Japanese hardcore bands of both the bouncy, noisy variety (see, Typhus) and the frantically metallic (eg, Dead Side), Farmaco’s most distinguishing characteristics of their sound are the points where D-beat locks horns with British speed metal. This is particularly apparent when their fondness for clattering, galloping drum work affords traction to wild, locked grooves that have a tendency to ricochet and splinter at odd angles like buckshot fired against galvanized steel.

In a lot of ways, Farmaco resembles that beastly, rust-stained devil Sacrilege, especially when they unleash rage-tempered Motörhead-styled solos over their shocking propulsive bridges. Hell, Cromi even sounds like Tam Simpson the majority of the time, but more on tempo and singing entirely in Spanish.

Latin American influences, not surprisingly, also play a large role in shaping the sound of Descolonizar. I pick up sour notes of the crusty trash-thrash of groups likes of Vaaska cross-pollinating with an old school heavy metal rumble on tracks like “Mundo Imundo.”

Another fairly unique aspect of Farmaco’s sound is their tendency to lead into these tracks as if descending into a foggy, opium dens. A desperate hovel filled with lament and downer, psychedelic blues, like a nightmare version of a Deep Purple concert. 

Photo: Pablo Alegre

On Descolonizar, Farmaco is really putting in the work to dislodge any notions of expectations, blending sources of inspiration and influences in a way that decenters any narrative of direct attribution.

They are really a unique band, who, as I said before, currently have got ahold of my brain and are putting down roots in its folds, like an oak tree in loamy soil. I may never be able to dislodge them from their chosen plot. Not that I’d want to, of course. 

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