One country we’ve been sadly lacking new bands from is Spain, having not featured a Spanish band in over a year and only five in the four years of running the site. However, we’re putting that right with potentially the best Spanish band we’ve discovered so far in grunge rockers Automatic Kafka.
The quintet of Fab Martoriano (vocals), Rud Trelles (lead guitar) Broonko Lee (guitar), Dann Margo (bass) and Turo Will (drums) hauil from the Asturias region in the northwest of Spain. The project first began in 2010, started to build momentum when Buenos Aires-born Fab joined, but took until 2018 to start getting into the studio to make their own music.
They’ve since set about honing a sound they describe as “powerful actuality grunge” and “Asturian coal, Seattle wiring and Argentine blood.” As Broonko explains: “We like to say we make a ‘Grunge 2.0.’ A mixture of different musical styles, united by a voice more typical of 90’s Seattle sound references, but very fresh.”
The result of this is debut album Metamorphosis, which was released in December. On the album, Broonko told us: “This first album focuses on the concept of Metamorphosis. We are no longer children and we have to evolve and change, starting with our thoughts and behaviour. With several mini-stories we want to convey those concerns through hope in difficult times.”
The album kicks off with lead track Metamorphosis, which opens up with a darting riff, heavier guitars, then a cool riff that leads into an opening verse and big infectious chorus led by Fab’s powerful vocals. A second chorus gives way to rolling drums and repeating little riff, then stabbing guitars give way to a chugging chunky guitar riff over sweeping support guitars and crashing cymbals. It drops into a funky riff, which gives way to a final singalong chorus. Check it out in the video below:
The album offers plenty of powerful grunge and engaging rock tracks, including the funky Aliens and Streets of the Universe, which gradually builds into a big singalong chorus of impressive vocals.
But a personal favourite is closing track Wanted Fame, which opens up with a cool riff that’s joined by drawn-out chords and crashing cymbals. The stabbing riff continues into a call and response verse with Fab’s vocals, which develops into a faster riff, chunky bass and rolling drums and feeds into a chorus. A second chorus is followed by a laid-back guitar solo supported by guitar chords and cymbal crashes, which flows into another cool call and response verse. A funky high-pitched guitar kicks in and builds up to a final chorus, bringing this impressive album to a fitting ending. Check it out in the video here:
On the album’s reception, Broonko adds: “The truth is that it is having a great acceptance. Everyone who listens to the album has good reviews for it. And for those who have not heard it, be prepared for a musical ecstasy and a trip inside.”
The Automatic Kafka sound is inspired by grunge rock greats like Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Audioslave, Soundgarden and Velvet Revolver, as well as the likes of Black Beans and Toundra.
There’s plenty more to come from Automatic Kafka, including streaming gigs and creating new content. As Broonko tells us: “Every day we work on new material, with ideas, melodies, riffs and lyrics. And, of course, in perfecting our performance for when it is possible. We are a team of honest people, faithful to what we do, in love with music and friendly, who can transport you to hidden places of your own being through our songs.”
Listen to Automatic Kafka and more rock from all over the world in our
GigRadar Rock Spotify playlist