I usually don’t fall for girls, but the two front girls of Eruca Sativa are irresistible to me.No disrespect to the drummer, but this is a band of female power. It took one beat of ES and they got me. I was into Eruca Sativa, madly. ES (also in Spanish means To Be), their second album, is raw carnal power rock.
Eruca Sativa is the latin name of the delicious arugula, but also is the name of the band from Cordoba, Argentina, formed by Lula Bertoldi on guitar and leading vocalist, Brenda Martin on bass, and Gabriel Pedernera on drums.
Eruca Sativa got together at the end of 2007. They grew quickly, by the first semester of 2008 they were already playing in Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires is a city that’s burning in music). Soon on September they released their first self-produced album La Carne (The Flesh), that was sold out, and later re-published on January of 2010.
The trio rapidly gained recognition by the Argentinean media, during their short life they have been awarded several times for best rock band. The audience of their shows also grew in short time from few hundreds to thousands of people. Then on 2010 they relesed their second album ES.
ES is a fourteen tracks powerful album. Gabriel’s drums rattle sharply on the fourteen tracks, with style and much strength, he can move easily between styles, he knows how to use his sounds to give texture to the big flow of energy that comes from the two rock ladies in front of him. I’ve said it before, girls that play bass are cool just because they play bass, but Brenda is not only cool, her bass lines are deep, fun, and smart. Lula on the guitar is most of the time simple, and eloquent, though when she rocks, she goes mad. But most of the time her voice is over her riffs, and that is not a mistake. Lula’s voice is simply amazing, she has balls to sing, she inspires, energizes, and charges the spaces, even the most depressed listeners would react to her singing. Actually, I would give my Battlestar Galactica collection (the original DVDs, that also include the 1978 edition) to have a voice like hers.
Listening to ES is easy, and fun. I don’t get tired of this album. Among other things, ES is the perfect cure for someone overdosing on electronic beats, also highly recommended when you are in need of kick of energy to move on.
The opening song of ES is titled as their previous album La Carne. “La Carne” wants to be played loud, very loud, as loud as possible, hopefully rocking on a huge concert, and headbanging like the world is ending right now. The song is about desperation, desire, and the need for living fully. The feeling of the body as a prison, and the inevitable acceptance of our animal condition, the wild needs of the flesh. From here on there’s no space for cowardice with Eruca Sativa, it’s all about having the balls to do what must be done, there’s no truce for the crybabies, neither for anyone that doesn’t take maximum advantage of every minute. I guess that even if you don’t understand Spanish you can feel the meaning of their songs, with the drums fighting hard on each rattle, and the bass taking every chance it has to produce an atractive ground, and the voice that can only come from the guts, and won’t let you drop out.
In general there aren’t musical innovitaions on ES, its parts are all used and proved since the 70s, through the 80s, and the 90s. Then again, who cares about hearing experiments when rock alone is simply great, I don’t. Eruca Sativa doesn’t show off with machines and inventions, thus on the fourth track, “Magoo”, the combo of known tricks is perfect, it’s fun, intense, powerful, and each piece is used tastefully. It’ like what they say when they have been asked about their work, “Eruca is a trio that as a whole is more than the sum of its parts; when we play together something else turns on, and the final result is something superior to ourselves, that no longer belong to us.” Definitely with them it is not about the pieces, but about the final result. But don’t think that this means that Eruca plays over and over the same formula of riff, grooves, yells, and slapped bass-lines. No. There are songs that show their ability to play with sounds of different styles, for example on “Mi Cancion” (My Song) they travel to folk-y blues sounds mixed with zamba (not the samba from Brasil, but the zamba from Argentina) played along beautiful riffs on acoustic guitar.
Along the album, mostly through Brenda’s bass, it’s possible to figure out the bands that have influenced Eruca Sativa, bands that mix funk with rock, like Red Hot Chilli Peppers that sounds since the first beat on “Cuanto Costara” (How Much Will Take). But then she also has many moments with Latin rock, for example on “Para Ser” (To Be), an existential power ballad, to me her five string bass sounds a lot like Pedro Aznar, naturally a bassist too, and one of the heroes of Argentinean and Latin American music. Gabriel can go from soft pop-rock to hardcore in a beat, invoking rattles that remind me of stylish heavy sounds, like on “Paraiso En Retro” (Paradise In Retro) I feel some sounds that remind me of Sepultura. Also Lula shows the influence of Latin rock, when I hear her on “Quemas” (You Burn), and on “Cada Cosa a Cada Cual” (Each Person To Its Own Thing) developing her riffs with an style that must be rooted in the genius of Gustavo Cerati’s riffs with Soda Stereo.
Allow me to say now, that any respectful band from Argentina, and from Latin America, wanted or not, will always show sounds influenced by Soda Stereo and the genius guitar of Cerati. Let me be more clear, because I feel specially attached to this subject, Argentina is music’s paradise, okay, maybe, one of them, but if you love music, then I have to insist that you should feed yourself with as much music from Argentina as you can. And certainly you should have some Eruca Sativa, the delicious leaves, and the encouraging, fun, and raw rock produced by this band from Cordoba.
Watch their videos and some of their live performances on their Youtube Channel.