For a few days I've been thinking about the records that marked my existence or those that have had some influence on my life. Many came to my mind, and choosing only one seemed really hard, especially taking in consideration that for the past twenty-five years I´ve been listening to music almost all day, always looking for new bands. When I received the task to write about this subject I took some time to think harder and found that there was one album that changed everything, not only for me but for the way musicians started to work in México. In 2003 the music industry in our country started to decay. All record labels where releasing discs from the same bands as the last decade. It was boring; old musicians playing the same songs over and over again. Then a revolution started, as some musicians decided to stop looking for record labels that never gave them a chance to show their projects. They adopted the DO IT YOURSELF philosophy and started recording in their own studios, releasing albums by themselves and organising parties where they would sell records, posters, pins and other merchandise produced in their homes. It was named the Independent Movement (Movimiento Independiente). One of the most important bands in this movement was Austin TV from México City. They caught the public's attention because their music did not have lyrics, and their energetic shows saw them dressed in bunny costumes. AUSTIN TV's first long length album, The Last Night of the World (La última noche del mundo) was released in November 2003, influenced by the punk movement in the USA and a peculiar style that was becoming famous those days and was named emo, which in a way evolved into what we now known as Post-Rock. The mix of these influences created an exciting environment full of strong guitars, deep bass lines, fast drums and clean but noisy keyboards and synths. Something that made them different to other projects was that even when they did not have lyrics in the songs they included some lines of famous films or tv series to help people to follow the story of the song.
Austin took the idea of La última noche del mundo from a short story of the same name written by Ray Bradbury in 1951, taking the line "What would you do if you knew this is the last night of the world?" as inspiration to create eight songs to express how they would feel. So, we find many feelings in the songs, starting with rage and anxiety in 'Roy Rogers' featuring dialogue from a scene in Back to the Future. In 'Ella no me conoce (She Does Not Know Me)' melancholy leads the way for soft and beautiful guitars. The third track is 'RUCCI', a song that is melancholic but also full of hope; here we can listen to a part of a dialogue featured in the mexican film Veneno para las hadas (Poison for the Fairies). 'Mr Galaxia' as fourth track brings rage again, natural rage that has decided to destroy everything and bring to an end everything around us.
'Olvidé decir adios (I Forgot to Say Goodbye)' is sadness, as we will never be able to hug our loved ones again, whilst 'Hazme setir (Make me Feel)' is the moment of losing all hope as we forget how to be human; we are about to die so this song's purpose is to help us feel. 'Ashia' is the seventh song and we only hear some noisy distorted synths, a guitar and the voice of a girl speaking in german. She tells us the story of the girl that appears in the booklet of the album, a sad and tragic story of how Ashia is about to die. The final, titular, track is a mellow song that brings us peace for over four minutes until an apocalyptic rhythm makes our heart beat faster and then, when we are about to collapse the calm returns. Some synths, sporadic guitars and a short set of piano notes accompany a beautiful bass line that rides the night and take us to the end. This album is important because after its release Austin TV became the independent band with more influence in the music scene in México. They became the first independent artist without an official video to be featured on MTV, which led to an international recognition and long tours across México and other Latin American countries. La última noche del mundo became the first self-recorded album of an instrumental rock band to be sold in big Mexican record stores. Now, after ten years, this disc is a classic and everyone involved in the music business knows it as the record that gave birth to one of the most successful bands in the latest history of México.
A record that must be listened to at least once in your life...