Rata Blanca – “Magos, Espadas Y Rosas” (1990)

So we were strolling the mean streets of Buenos Aires the other day (♠) down by the domestic airport. It was hot out, and we were hungry, and about every thousand feet or so there was food truck on the side of the road, quite literally just parked there in a lane of traffic. We passed a number of them by hoping we’d eventually find one selling beers, but it was not to be, so eventually we stopped for some delicious choripáns.

Two youngish guys were working there and we ended up striking up a conversation with one of the regulars, a construction worker who the food truck guys were stunned to learn actually spoke some English (♥). They also had some sweet-ass 80s style metal cranked up on the boom box. Fortunately our buddy Norberto has some Spanish skills and we were so down with what they were playing that he asked them who the band was.

Rata Blanca. White Rat.

They seemed pretty stoked that we were into the sound, and the next night when we were out to pick up a pizza and ran across a little CD shop, we strolled in and came out with a few Rata Blanca CDs. Somehow one of these (Norberto bought them both) ended up at my house (sorry Norberto), which is why I’m sitting around on a school night drinking whiskey and listening to Argentinian hair metal. (♣) Because hair metal is awesome.

Magos, Espadas Y Rosas was the second full-length from Rata Blanca, coming out in 1990. I feel like music trends in Argentina were just a bit behind the curve for a while, which is understandable after years of living under a military dictatorship, so while Rata Blanca sounds like all my favorite hair metal bands of the 1980s, they got their start in 1988 and were prolific in the 90s and 00s. I get flavors of Deep Purple on “Mujer Amante”, Queensryche on “Hez Tu Jugada”, and Stevie Vai “Porque Es Tan Dificil Amar”. It’s all here. Leather. Guitar solos. Soaring vocals. Choripáns. (♦)

I didn’t expect to come home from Argentina with some top notch sleaze metal, but Rata Blanca delivered thanks to the guys at the food truck!

(♠) Pretentious, but true.

(♥) He asked us about Trump. Everyone in Argentina asked us about Trump. Argentinians love to say, “I don’t want to talk about politics” immediately before going on a diatribe about politics.

(♣) Let’s be honest. The whiskey would have happened regardless.

(♦) Technically not metal. But should be.