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El Hombre Trajeado | Shlap (Lost Dog)
A band whose chance slipped away - either by default or design - El Hombre Trajeado in 2005 are just a dim and distant memory from some superb support slots to Fugazi back in the day. Celebrating a tenth anniversary with only their third LP (nobly dedicated to the late great John Peel), on 'Shlap' EHT rattle through twelve songs in less than thirty minutes, many of which barely push the two-minute mark. And as before, they tug a taut tight-rope delicately poised between post-rock and post-hardcore that recalls Shellac, Tortoise and several of their Glaswegian contemporaries. Unlike before, those occasional Slint-ish whispered threats / promises are much more difficult to ignore. Indeed, at their absolute Ian MacKaye-esque best on 45s At 78 and as a more welcoming Mogwai with closer Warm Down, El Hombre Trajeado stick a sharp two fingers up to a wider world who may well never tune into their acute wave-lengths. That in itself is another victory for a sharp-eared minority over the cloth-eared masses.

Ian Fletcher
February-April 2005