Repeatedly yelling, "Of plastic!" may not be the best way to break it off with your lover, but the words become an anguished cry of romantic emancipation on La Octava Maravilla's (The Eighth Wonder) "Plastico." Breakups, makeups and fake-ups are the lyrical focus of the self-titled demo by a band that has forsaken the radical politicking of most rock en español acts to focus on the not-so-public policies of the heart. Love "is something everyone can relate to," says lead guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Héctor Robles, who, along with drummer Melissa West, rhythm guitarist Victor Miranda and bassist Alex Ávila (who wrote and sings the goofy/menacing end track "Encandilas" ("You Turn Me On"), makes up the Anaheim-based group. In songs like "Plastico" and "Hombre Ácido" ("Acid Man"), Octava combine the mysticism of Jaguares with the rhythms of the legendary Héroes del Silencio to produce a soothing sound sorely needed in SoCal's punk-heavy Latin alternative scene. That sound is shaped by Robles, who somehow erased his Mexican-Spanish accent to sound just like Enrique Bunbury—simultaneously menacing and romantic. But the real wonder of Octava is how they managed to incorporate Indian Bollywood rhythms into some of their songs (like "Pipa," which could easily be a vehicle for a Hindi starlet's nasal wailings) without devolving into the cheesiness that makes Bollywood a guilty pleasure. Make yourself wonder at their wonders by hearing this wonderful demo.
OC and Long Beach bands and musicians! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only,OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247.