Los Mesoneros – Expropiese: The protest song of this generation

Venezuela has been going through a political and economic crisis since the very beginning of the century.

 

The ramping inflation rates and the frontal attempts against civil rights, such as freedom of expression, have made of the once prosper Caribbean country a very hostile place. Nevertheless, this whole situation hasn’t been an excuse for the creative minds of the country. Actually, artists such as ‘Los Mesoneros’ find in the crisis the fuel they need to propel their art. This is the case of their latest single, ‘Expropiese’, where they take a painful part of Venezuelan political history and transform it, facing fear with love.

 

At a simple glance, the song title is a direct recall to Hugo Chavez’ (Venezuela’s former president) infamous phrase, utilized to publicly nationalize the private properties of entrepreneurs, farmers and landlords (whom he called “the bourgeois”) in order to puts those properties in the hands of ‘the people’. These confiscations took place during rallies and official broadcasts, being a loud demonstration of authority and power more than being part of a plan to create a national productive industry. The victims of the infamous expropriate never received a penny for their properties, and most of those industries where left to die, dramatically reducing the national production of goods that led to food shortages and the extreme exportation dependency Venezuela now suffers.

 

Nevertheless, the main goal of the song it’s not to remind those events or to point fingers to the people responsible behind the confiscations, but to transform the meaning of a word with such a terrible meaning to the Venezuelan people. This way, Los Mesoneros look for a subtle way of protest, one that avoids direct confrontation and aims for transformation, leaving behind the anger and putting in some love into the global consciousness of the people.

 

With ‘Exprópiese’, an upbeat indie rock track, Los Mesoneros sing about the desire of being taken away on a relationship, the pulsating need of having the other possess your heart and being unable to offer resistance. They completely rewrite the meaning of the word through this song: the expropriation isn’t any more a despotic showcase of power, a vile tool of oppresión. Now, it’s something you ask for, it’s all about love and desire.

 

The song does addresses subjects of power and oppression but in such a subtle and playful way that the listener cannot but to get caught on the beat. These topics also come to surface on the music video, where the band showcases a very retro aesthetic, with a military vestuary and some narco references. As subtle as they are, these signals reveal the context in which the song is created, making reference to the many accusations of the crooked nature of the current regime of Venezuela. This way, they able to send their message avoiding direct confrontation and censorship, reaching through their music to the whole people of the country and the world.

 

Exprópiese’ is the apparent third single of the yet unnamed third album of the Venezuelan band. The previous singles, ‘Dime Como Tu Quieras’ and ‘Te Lo Advertí’ also represents an exploration of their sound and have been well received amongst the public.

 

Los Mesoneros it’s a Venezuelan indie rock band with more than 10 years of trajectory. The band it’s confirmed by Luis Jiménez on the guitar and lead vocals, Andrés Belloso on the bass, Andrés Sucre on the drums, Juan Ignacio Sucre on the lead guitar and Carlos Sardi on the keyboard. The band was funded on Caracas when they were still teenagers. They name as their main influences international bands such as Radiohead, Incubus, and Muse. Nevertheless, they put their own twist into their music, infusing their sound with synths, fusing indie rock and synth-pop on a quite unique and personal style.

 

They’ve been putting music together since 2006, but it wasn’t until 2008 when they got all the eyes of the Venezuelan rock scene on them, after winning the Intercollege New Bands Festival, a national event, and the Washington Festival. These put them on the radar and allowed them to capture the attention of the media, producer companies and the general public: the maturity and the power of their material ear-catch anyone who listened.

 

They got some of their first gigs as openers for bigger international acts, such as El Canto Del Loco, a Spanish pop-rock band, Zoe, Simple Plan and RX Bandits. Slowly but surely, Los Mesoneros started carving a name of their own on the Venezuelan rock scene and grew a loyal following, who craved for their debut material. Their electric and unparalleled performances, at such a young age, augmented the attention they received from the public.

 

It wasn’t until 2009 that they debuted their first radio single called ‘No Puedes Ver’ on the hottest stations of the country, finally making the leap from the stages to the popular radio. This song helped them to get nationwide popularity, allowing them to tour outside Caracas, the capital city. It also previews what would be their debut EP, released on March 2010, with tracks such as “El Incrédulo” and “Ciclos”, fan favorites that allowed the project to stay in on the top places of the popularity charts of the country.

 

On that same year they started recording their first full-length the project, ‘Indeleble’, which came a year after 2011. The album featured 11 tracks, with singles such as ‘Un Segundo’ and ‘Cuando Llega El Momento’ and the homonym song. ‘Indelible’ marked an important era for Los Mesoneros: on 2012 they received 4 nominations for the Latin Grammys Academy Awards, being the most nominated Venezuelan act of the night. They competed on the Best New Artist, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song and Best Package categories.

 

After the release of their first album, they started touring outside Venezuela, while developing their next record. Their sophomore album, ‘Cuando Caiga La Noche’ came 6 years after, on 2017, and also featured 11 tracks. The sound was almost a direct follow up of ‘Indeleble’, showcasing little exploration of the band, yet, still sounding fresh six years later. The band remained active, touring inside and outside the country while previewing some of the new material. With, ‘Cuando Caiga La Noche’, Los Mesoneros established them as one of the main references of indie rock in Venezuela. The sound they helped to define earlier on the decade was refined with this album.

 

Now, it’s 2019 and we already have three new singles on our hands, the later one being ‘Exprópiese’. How much longer we will have to wait to have a new full-length project from the band? We don’t know yet. What we do know it’s that Los Mesoneros are going through a process of sound exploration, finding their new sound without losing their essence. Also, it’s been a long time since the festival that launched them into national stardom: their new tracks reveal how much the band has matured. ‘Exprópiese’ it’s a really thoughtful mean of protest, where the band appeals to love and not anger to create a positive effect on their fans. They understand music as the ultimate mean to bring people together, creating a safe place for people to heal and cleanse the collective consciousness.

 

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