Asalto Al Parque Zoológico (commonly referred to as APZOO) is a shoegaze band from Buenos Aires. They formed in 2008, and released a couple of EPs before finally releasing their brilliant debut album Hexadecimal last year. I’ve been meaning to write about this band for a while, and a tragic event has pushed my hand to do so today with a heavy heart.
APZOO bassist Gabriela “Gabo” Maumus was among the 144 passengers who were killed in Tuesday’s crash of Germanwings flight 9525. Maumus was traveling with her boyfriend Sebastián Greco, who worked in SAP analytics. She was just 28 years old. The Argentine news website Infobae has the story here.“Asalto Al Parque Zoológico” translates from Spanish to English as “The Zoo Park Assault”. This may be a reference to a world-wide news making event that occurred at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day, 2007. Tatiana, the Siberian tiger, escaped her enclosure and mauled three zoo visitors who had been taunting her. One of the victims died. The tiger was shot to death by police who responded to the incident. The band’s name might also be an oblique reference to the Edward Albee one-act play “Zoo Story“.
Obviously, this band draws a ton of influence from My Bloody Valentine, and they also name the rest of the early 1990s UK shoegaze heavies as their heroes: Slowdive, Lush, Ride, The Telescopes. They sound warped and distorted. Fuzzy and really heavy on the delay. Blissfully noisy. These guys are good. They’ve just released a very good album last October, and now they’ve been beset with this tragedy. The APZOO family, the Maumus family, and the Greco family are all devastated by their loss. Shoegaze lovers and fans of the band will burn a candle in Gabo’s honor.
Today’s song is one of my favorite songs on the album. I didn’t get this album until the calendar had already flipped to 2015, but it might have finished in my 2014 year-end top ten. Anyway, this is that song.
“Underwater” by Asalto Al Parque Zoológico
Marina Lezama’s vocals are quite like Bilinda Butcher’s. Hushed and high. Softened around the edges. Very nice.
At the 1:55 mark, there’s a big swell in the sound as everything gets louder and fuzzier and more heavily affected. There’s also something that one of the guitars or maybe a synth is doing that makes it sound a bit like a horn. And for that, I’m reminded of the song “only tomorrow” from m b v.
It’s a great song, and a great album. I hope that the members of APZOO will eventually keep doing what they do so brilliantly. For now, they’ll obviously go on a bit of a hiatus.
Hexidecimal is available via Casa Del Puente Discos in Argentina and it’s also distributed by the Japanese label Hands and Moment. The physical version of the Japanese release has a bonus track. Check it out here. You can also buy a digital download via Bandcamp here, or get it from eMusic here. No matter where you choose to buy it, just go ahead and buy the album.