It was the live show that did it for me. Imagine massive slabs of discordance at earsplitting volume and a terrifyingly intense, tattooed madman working out his personal demons while wearing a too-small Sonic the Hedgehog tee shirt and that gives you a good idea of what La Gritona were like in the live setting. At the time most bands in Boston were recycling Sabbath riffs or ripping off Helmet but La Gritona were tapping into something darker and heavier. There was the obvious Black Flag intensity but concurrently The Birthday Party, Voivod and Swans were subtly being referenced and the result put most people outside of their comfort zone. It was raw, sublime, artsy and barbaric all at once. It was like watching The Lost Highway after being awake for 24 hours; you couldn’t quite follow the narrative but you knew you were witnessing something that was just outside of your grasp and the truth lie just beyond the comforting glow of the campfire deep beyond the treeline.
The role of innovator can be a lonely path. William Blake was largely unrecognized during his lifetime but is now thought of a seminal figure in the art world but I hesitate to use the word “art” to describe La Gritona. They were a band that created ugly, brutal and emotionally intense music that was criminally under- appreciated when they were around. Luckily the material has been rescued from obscurity by the good people at Tortuga and assembled in this document, giving you an audio snapshot of the shot, intense career of La Gritona, a band “too dumb for the smart kids and too smart for the dumb kids.”