• EMP17
  • LP

Much-needed vinyl reissue of the full 1987 cassette from this under-documented band from Uruguay. While Los Invasores never released vinyl during their original run, I knew I’d heard their name before, and Discogs informed me that Lengua Armada released four tracks on a 7” in 2006 and France’s Crapoulet Records reissued these songs on cassette in 2014. Jack Control handles the mastering on this latest version, making this rough, vintage recording sound as powerful as it can. As with a lot of Latin American punk, the year of recording doesn’t tell you much about the band’s style, as Los Invasores’ sound is more rooted in 70s punk, with some of the intensity of early 80s hardcore. I hear a lot of the Clash in their sound (as well as Spanish Clash disciples Eskorbuto), but what stands out is the reverb-drenched, surf-inflected guitar sound, which gives the best tracks a darkly melodic feel that reminds me of Agent Orange’s Living in Darkness. You can hear this most clearly on the brilliant first track, “Historias de Falsos Amigos,” which left my jaw on the floor the first time I heard it. If you’ve spent as much time as I have with Living in Darkness (or if you dug that recent Bloodstains 7” everyone was talking about earlier this summer), stop what you’re doing and listen to this song right now. For me, the track is the undeniable highlight of the record, though the second song, “Al Borde del Bien Y el Mal” is excellent too, though very similar to “Historias,” right down to the quirky, angular break. If Los Invasores had put out a single before 1980 with either of those two songs on the a-side and two of the best tracks from the rest of the session on the flip, it’d be a record people pay hundreds of dollars for. It’s too bad Los Invasores missed their shot at collector scum immortality, but I’m glad to see this excellent session in circulation and on wax where it belongs.