Ruleta Rusa, “No Aqui Es” LP

cover - ruleta rusaLooking at the cover, I was thinking, “What the fuck? Did Sorry State put out a thrash record?” Just taking a glance at the jacket for Ruleta Rusa‘s No Aqui Es, and you’re thinking Grim Reaper or some other mid-’80s stalwarts.

However, the instant the needle drops on this LP, and it’s a different matter. This is rock ‘n’ roll — punk ‘n’ roll, if you want to be specific. It’s like Motorhead at first, but moves smoothly into ’80s hardcore by the end of the first side.

To clarify, in terms of hardcore, it’s got that East Coast flair, where everything was a little more standard rock ‘n’ roll, whereas West Coast hardcore always seemed a little warmer — it’s a totally random decision I made on my own, to which I attribute the weather differences.

Seriously, though: the title track comes right after a song that full-on rocks the Bad Brains’ “I Against I” guitar tone (“Gritos Para Desahogar”), and the way it uses surf guitar is a major tonal shift from the rest of the record.

The recording’s a little muddy, though. For as rocking as Ruleta Rusa is, everything’s all at kind of the same level, with the vocals slightly boosted above everything else. Plus, as much as this wants to be a guitar record — and it is — you want those babies to be fucking cranked. If ever there were a punk record you could full-on air guitar to, No Aqui Es should be it.

When we get bad-ass guitars rocking the album-closing “Curriqui de Barrio,” they should be goddamn wailing, and we get squealing at best. It’s frustrating, because I want to like this album way more than I do, thanks to the muffled levels on every single track. I even gave it another chance, assuming my speakers weren’t cranked loud enough, and then a third run-through on headphones, but everything still ended up sounding like it was playing through a pillow.

If you can handle the mid-level production, Ruleta Rusa’s No Aqui Es is a fun bit of throwback hardcore punk ‘n’ roll, but if you’re looking for some guitar-shredding tunes, you’ll end up wanting more. It’s available from the Sorry State store on red, limited to 163 copies with obi strip, as well as on cassettel.