Puerto Rico’s independent art scene has been one to receive a major boom in the last few years due to the power of the internet. However, while the underground hip-hop scene is slowly gaining mainstream recognition, two marginalized scenes to have yet to receive full embrace are the punk and metal movements. These sections of the independent music scene in Puerto Rico have proven to be resilient over the years, demonstrating that they can deliver some fantastic music with bands like Dantesco, Zafakon, La Experiencia de Toñito Cabanilla$$$, and Diente Perro. However, with the help of bands like Campo Formio, Dan Siego, and Los Petardos!, these groups and others are receiving more of an eye from listeners in-depth with the movement. One of these bands to have been pushing the movement for a while and release a new project is the punk band Un Final Fatal, with their EP “Respeta el silencio.”
(cover art for “Respeta el silencio”)
After performing La Experiencia de Toñito Cabanilla$$$ last year, the band recently released their first project in over three years with their EP “Respeta el silencio.” The short project starts with the title track as performed by Z X Siempre, which turns out to be a short, electronic introduction before the band takes on the rest of the project. Featuring their mixture of fast paced and melodic guitars, the rest of “Respeta el silencio” features Un Final Fatal, using their knowledge of hardcore to their advantage in songs where they touch on subject matter such as emotional struggle, depression, hardship, pain, and escaping from reality. While the project information doesn’t strictly mention when it was recorded, by analyzing this EP’s lyrics one can say that it reflects many of the emotions Puerto Ricans went through after the impact of Hurricane Maria along with the struggles one lives with daily in a country where it’s hard to find a shine of hope.
(current logo for the band as found on their Facebook page)
“Respeta el silencio” is a great mixture of hardcore-punk and post-hardcore moved by a mixture of fast paced guitars and melodic sounds which feature struggles anybody can relate to making it a great entry into the scene’s catalogue. The band, which has over fifteen years performing and recording, completely show their mastery over the aforementioned genres, and it’s fantastic. However, much like many projects of the genre, this EP is one that might not transcend towards the mainstream due to its very short songs and heavy sound.
(band collage as found on their Facebook page)
“Respeta el silencio” is another fantastic addition to Puerto Rico’s history with punk-rock as it presents a group of veterans displaying their knowledge on the genre as well as sub-genres like hardcore-punk and post-hardcore. Thus, what might hold this EP back from any form of mainstream appeal is its raw nature and hardcore-punk roots. Punk-rock, much like heavy metal and hip-hop (at one point), are genres which can be a bit elitist with people of all three communities demonstrating their dislike when someone wishes to make a profit out of their culture without paying homage to those who came before them. This is an element that will forever hold punk-rock and metal acceptable in the Puerto Rican mainstream. We might never know what will aid these two genres in gaining that popular appeal in an island known for sounds like salsa and reggaeton, but one thing’s for sure, we will always have bands like Un Final Fatal to thank for at least giving listeners some highly respectable entries into the culture.