reviewed by Michael Thomas
It’s difficult not to talk about Lo Siento without talking about Lido Pimienta. Both acts are based in Canada, both sing in Spanish, both acts are musically satisfying, and both are unafraid to be direct in their lyrics. They’re unafraid to be direct and unafraid to be feminist.
Where Pimienta has beats at her disposal, Lo Siento—Pepa Chan, Andrea McGuire and Alligita Graves—play the kind of scrappy garage rock that lends itself so perfectly to lyrical directness. I have a special fondness for this kind of music, the kind that can make you nod your head appreciatively or just straight-up dance.
And Lo Siento have an extra amount of energy to make their music especially fun to listen to, especially if you have near-zero knowledge of Spanish like I do. The guitar chords are oh so sweet and surf-y, the bass is slick, and all is good.
But if you can speak Spanish (or drop in the lyrics into the old Google Translate box) you’ll find that—surprise!—the very cheerful sounds mask some less than cheerful subject matter. Closer “No Es No” is probably the most high-octane song on the album but it’s a song about being hit on and having to repeatedly tell someone “NO,” and that you don’t give implicit permission to someone to harass you because of what you wear.
“No Tengo Remedio” is another fun and fast song, but it’s a song about absolutely crushing anxiety (the song title means “I have no choice”). In “Tu Manera de Ser” Chan is straight to the point, telling the other person “I do not like the way you are. That song is made even more jarring by the adorable “Whoopsie!” said at the beginning of the song.
This band has the kind of energy we all need in our lives.
Top Track: “No Tengo Remedio”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop*