Struggle Session is a Beijing-based band here with the thirty-three song, ten-minute long album Sudamérica Ruido y Amor. The album is a tribute to the band’s recent tour, with each song titled after a city they played. There are some decent hardcore, grindcore, and power violence throughout the short album, but the concept of Sudamérica Ruido y Amor just didn’t pique my interest.
Fitting so many songs into such a short period of time, you’re right to assume Struggle Session has a passion for blasting through tunes. “Curitiba” and “Lima” are just two examples of the punishing grindcore style the band sprinkles throughout the album. While the band could’ve easily just made a ten-minute grindcore album, Struggle Session brings together a wide variety of styles. Songs like “Guarulhos” or “La Plata” have a cool, sludgier feel to them and the song “Talca” is an interesting hardcore/ska hybrid. Musically speaking, this was a really fun listen.
Where Struggle Session lose me is in the concept of the album. The lyrics of each song revolve solely around a moment that the band experienced in a given city on their mammoth-sized tour. The lyrics from a song like “Morón” that read “Go out and look for a fucking job BRIAN! But Mom, I’m a punk!” or the sole word “TAPIOCA” that makes up the lyrics of the song “Sãu Paulo” just don’t do anything for me. I’m sure these make sense to a handful of people, but Sudamérica Ruido y Amor feels like I’m just listening to thirty-three inside jokes.
I’m sure Sudamérica Ruido y Amor means a lot to Struggle Session, but I really don’t know this was the way to try and translate their experiences to an album. Having said that, this is a fairly diverse album for being just ten minutes long. All four members of Struggle Session really flex their instrumental and vocal abilities and make for, at least musically speaking, a pretty interesting ride.
Written by Justin Bruce
*edited by Danielle Kenedy