I’ll admit that I’m one of those crazy people you’d find at a show, belting out the words to every song that is played. At first, I was a bit reticent about reviewing Chilean punks Lili Champ‘s album, “Vientos,” as my high school Spanish doesn’t extend much past basic platitudes and I was certain that Lili Champ’s lyrics would be a bit more advanced than “Hi, how are you?” But I’m honestly quite glad that I had the chance to listen to this album, because it is seriously a really good pop-punk release.
I know you’re thinking. “Eh, pop-punk, what can this band do that Blink 182 didn’t do years ago?” but “Vientos” is not an album that could be overlooked that easily. Firstly, Lili Champ’s sound has not been overproduced to perfection. “Vientos” still retains that sort of raw energy that you tend to find on early band recordings, when bands just want to make good music and don’t need all of the rough edges polished.
The opening track, “Entrevientos,” sounds like it walked off a Bouncing Souls album and into Chile. The vocals have a rough edge that sound like the lead singer was up shouting the words to every song at another show- not perfect, but somehow very punk rock.
From the first track, “Vientos” picks up massive amounts of speed with the second track, “Cheap Bad Coffee.” If this were a mosh pit, the crowd went from waving lighters in the air peacefully to trampling each other in a circle pit. The third track, “Westerlies,” slows things down a little, and sounds reminiscent of older, less pretentious Blink 182.
As the album continues, a theme develops of faster tracks followed by slightly mellower ones. “Entrecerros” sounds like the perfect song to listen to while walking on a nice, sunny day. It is mellow, catchy, and if you don’t know or can’t understand the lyrics, you can always hum along.
The country-tinged closing track, “5to. Piso” is an appropriate way to end the album. It’s mellower, and gives an air of finality to the album. It’s the perfect way to end the album, and loops back to the beginning track of “Vientos” without missing a beat.
Despite the fact that the majority of “Vientos” is in Spanish, this is the sort of album that would make me want to learn the language just so I could sing along with every song at a Lili Champ show. Even if you don’t know a word of Spanish, this album is so undeniably catchy, that you’ll be hooked after one listen.