El Yunque – ‘Boxes’ Album Review.

El Yunque – Hasselt, Belgium.


For our previous work on the band – Click Here.
Cover photo credit: Geert Braekers – Click Here.

Michael Jordan and Hip-Hop, no wait, Basketball as a whole and Hip-Hop go hand in hand together. From pictures of Jay-Z, Drake and 50 Cent court-side, to Lil Wayne and ‘CULTURE’ kids Migos naming songs after the stars themselves, you’d think that Experimental Noise/Punk-Rock would be waiting in line right behind Kanye ready to back him up on that “Man I feel like Kobe!” shout.

And well yeah, El Yunque are standing right behind in line. They might not be head-to-toe in Gosha Rubchinskiy but they are head to toe in “out of tune arty-farty” garms.

Last time round on Baskenland El Yunque were a little overdrawn. Boxes isn’t. The album is a sonic boom of a mess and it’s great. They’re pulling from Swans, Boris, and maybe even Steve Albini’s collected hits of Noise.

‘Tired of Dressing Like a Girl’ is short and solemn. It’s that sticky and awkward humidity before and after a violent rainstorm. But it also acts in the same way that Swans use these sort of short intermediary tracks on albums like Soundtracks For The Blind.

‘Nafi’ is a lightning bolt of speed, while ‘Deer’ is dark and super cool, it’s emptiness comes from silence and Pink/Metal Machine Music-esque feedback, whilst ‘Cinder’ is probably the most imposing track El Yunque have ever recorded. It’ll impress any and all first dates, even more so than that shattering scream at the beginning of Pharmakon’s ‘Milkweed/It Hangs Heavy’.

‘Michael Jordan’ is the closest Noise Rock has come to a “skit track” even though it’s more of an ode.

While closer ‘Dog Park’ has a screech of a Clarinet that could be mistaken for your date mewling in fear because she thinks you’re really something special after being convinced that listening to something romantic would be a real moodsetter. All this when all she really wanted was a weepy Drake rapping desolate bars alongside Future on ‘Jumpman’, because you knew she was really into Basketball.

(Editors Note – If you haven’t already figured it out Matt is quite taken with this band so if you like it heavy, fun and well – El Yunque, then you know what to do. – MS.)

Find the band below:

  • For updates head to the band’s Facebook page.
  • For the band’s music to date head to bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify.


Matthew Mansell

Matthew Mansell likes to listen to music, eat Strawberry Pop Tarts and is also Cornish.

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