Guadalajara based FLORES Y FUEGO, a band born amidst the global pandemic, crafted their 2021 digital album “Altar” as a reflection of the confinement experienced during the previous year. The ample time afforded by the enforced isolation enabled the members to engage in frequent rehearsals, which proved to be a luxury compared to the challenges posed by their current jobs and responsibilities. The resulting album embodies the frustrations and rage experienced during this tumultuous period, with the music and lyrics serving as an artistic catharsis.
This month the band is releasing “Altar” on vinyl via Pirates Press Records and we’re stoked to give you the full listen of the raging offering (stream above)
The guitarist of FLORES Y FUEGO took it upon himself to record and produce the album within the confines of their rehearsal space. However, the group was fortuitous in acquiring the expertise of Jesse Gander, one of Canada’s most esteemed producers and engineers, who took on the task of mastering the record. This collaboration elevated the band’s DIY sound to new heights.
As for the visual aspect of the album, the artwork represents a collective effort by the band’s friends, photographer Monica Garrido and graphic designer Javier Villalpando. The striking image of a hand holding candles is the contribution of the band’s vocalist, Melisa, who also provides the creative force behind the band’s graphics, thanks to her background in tattoo and graphic artistry.
The album’s title, “Altar,” was derived from one of the band’s songs and serves as a symbol of the collection of tracks offered within. FLORES Y FUEGO defies the constraints of the generic “hardcore” label, drawing upon a diverse range of sounds and influences. The members of the band, united by their eclectic tastes, are adamant about not emulating any specific group. Instead, they pour their hearts into creating music that originates from spontaneous jam sessions and, in a testament to their versatility, incorporates numerous guitar solos.
Track by track commentary:
“Soy tu voz”
Which means “I am your voice” talks about giving women a voice and empowering them. In Melisa’s words, being a woman is difficult and even more difficult in Mexico since our country has a high rate of violence and disappearances towards women.
We just had a bit of “post-punk” inspiration for the music because we wanted it to sound a bit dark, with the use of delays and reverbs in some parts.
“Muerde el anzuelo”
Which means, “Take the bait.” This song is about the pressure that society, family, and school try to impose on us as individuals, and sometimes the consequences can be very sad and lead to depression or even suicide.
This was the first song that Melisa wrote for the band, and it’s an invitation to be true to yourself and do whatever makes you happy.
When we made this song, I was listening to Hellacopters a lot, and I was playing the guitar with some very action-rock riffs, but faster.
It is the abbreviation of Guadalajara, the name of our city. This song arose as a result of some demonstrations in our city after the arrest and murder of a young man by the police in the midst of a pandemic.
For the music of this song, we were inspired by Charger, another band from Pirates Press Records, the label we are on, and by Midnight.
This means “Death,” which talks about when a person stops being who you thought or falls from the grace of others and the disappointment that this can cause you.
In this song, we once again approach a dark sound using parts with delay and reverb. The break part of the song reminds us a lot of AFI; that’s why we called it “the AFI song” when it didn’t have lyrics.
Altar is for the loners; for those times when you’ve felt lost and hopeless, but in the end, we find that little spark still inside ourselves. This song has a lot of interesting things, starting with the melody of the intro; it’s something that grabs you, has a lot of feeling, and introduces the song. During the verse, we did a riff in a Bad Religion style, we went to another riff that was a bit stoner but faster, and we closed with another guitar solo.
This means “To exist.” This song talks about the difficulties we face since we are already alive, and even more so as adults.
Here in music, we have a curious fact because we were listening to “I Don’t Want To Be Blind” by Turnstile in a rehearsal break. We said we need to start a song like this with the bass, but at the same time, it has a strange part where we use jazz chords.
This means “Vicious circle,” and this song is about being sunk in depression and on the verge of suicide.
This is an old song written by the guitarist Rafa, who played together with Lalo, the drummer, in a previous band. Melisa knew how to make this song her own with a voracious interpretation.
“Por una cadena más larga”
Which means “For a longer chain,” this song was written by someone who was briefly the bassist of the band at the beginning and talks about the oppression of those above.
This song has several very fast changes; I also find it interesting to play, and the solo at the end is inspired by “Brian Baker” from Dag Nasty and Bad Religion.