Muro is a special band.
Sure, I was missing Texas hardcore masters the Impalers but I had to process everything I had just taken in—how was it real? Walking calmly onto the stage there was no indication as to the level of ferocity and unbridled passion Colombia’s Muro would unleash and the more they would give the more the swirling mass gathered before them would give back. So here I am—stone cold sober wandering Kensington just absolutely bewildered as to what I just witnessed.
One of the things I’ve always appreciated and loved about hardcore punk is its international nature. When I was younger I would send envelopes filled with hidden cash away to the far corners of the world in hopes of obtaining a seven inch piece of plastic that would sometimes show up, that would sometimes blossom into a pen pal that I’d consider a friend though I’d never dream of actually meeting them let alone having the sounds blasting out of my stereo speakers translate to a live experience. I know things have changed a bit but it still thrills me to have the manifestation of names to actual faces—of recordings turned to bodies piling on each other in a fit of sweat and spit.
Colombia has a long tradition of ripping hardcore. From bands such as IRA, Imagen, Herpes, Ataque de Sonida, Anti-Todo, Polikarpa Y Sus Viciocas, and Eskoria to more current bands like Lupus, Final, Secta Suicida, and Primer Regimen the nation has a long tradition of producing rampaging blasts of punk fury which serves as a counterweight to the reality of unemployment and violence which has plagued the nation for so long.
Hailing from Bogotá, Muro come out of the gates just blasting. Primitive, primal, raw hardcore comes pouring out of the speakers but this isn’t just all go, no slow. There is a certain consciousness to the need for hooks and melody and at times a certain angular nature to their song structures that really just sets them apart.
At times, there is a certain vibe to their music that hints of the herky-jerky tension present in the finest Gauze or Wretched tracks—you think you know the journey riffs are taking you on but suddenly you are just shoved off a cliff of discomfort. It is this sense of unease present in the music when paired with vocalist’s snarling, rabid street dog attack against the world, which really pushes this over the top.
Live, Muro is unstoppable—just totally relentless to the point of almost being surreal, hence me wandering aimlessly around Toronto trying to process having just seen the best live band of my life.
They just wrapped up a tour of Canada and before that, Europe so here’s hoping that the USA is next—finger’s crossed.
As a side note, while you are checking out Muro, be sure to look into Bogotá’s Rat Trap collective, a sort of artist group that does amazing design work and silk-screening and which also released 2017’s Fuerza Ingobernable compilation featuring some incredible hardcore bands from Colombia. All super worthwhile.