GUAPO
Avant-garde Metal / Metal Related • United Kingdom

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Guapo is an experimental rock band from London, England. Drummer Dave Smith is the only member to stay constant amidst an ever-varying lineup.

Guapo's older material has strong elements of metal to it, but since Daniel O'Sullivan joined the group in 2003 their music has gradually morphed into a more avant-prog and Zeuhl -oriented sound, built around heavy bass and prominent electric piano.

Guapo has had affiliations with the Rock In Opposition movement.

(biography by Triceratopsoil)

https://guapo1.bandcamp.com/
Thanks to triceratopsoil for the addition and Bosh66, adg211288 for the updates

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ElixirsElixirs
Neurot Recordings 2008
Audio CD$17.98
$13.52 (used)
Obscure KnowledgeObscure Knowledge
CUNEIFORM RECORDS 2017
Audio CD$12.73
$13.95 (used)
History Of The VisitationHistory Of The Visitation
CUNEIFORM RECORDS 2017
Audio CD$17.54
$19.23 (used)
Five SunsFive Suns
CUNEIFORM RECORDS 2017
Audio CD$13.97
$13.96 (used)
Black OniBlack Oni
Ipecac Recordings 2015
Audio CD$21.27
$1.95 (used)
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GUAPO Hell Is Other People 7 GUAPO Hell Is Other People 7" VINYL UK Power Tools 1995 3 Track White Label USD $6.60 Buy It Now 4 days
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 Statue Man ‎– El Guapo SM/002 1996 Statue Man ‎– El Guapo SM/002 1996 USD $7.79 Buy It Now 6 days
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GUAPO Discography

GUAPO albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
Towers Open Fire
Avant-garde Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Hirohito
Avant-garde Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Great Sage, Equal Of Heaven
Avant-garde Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death Seed
Avant-garde Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 4.33 | 5 ratings
Five Suns
Avant-garde Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 4.70 | 5 ratings
Black Oni
Avant-garde Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Elixirs
Metal Related 2008
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
History Of The Visitation
Metal Related 2013
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Obscure Knowledge
Metal Related 2015

GUAPO EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hell Is Other People
Avant-garde Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
...Is No More
Avant-garde Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Horse Walks Into A Bar
Avant-garde Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Erase Yer Head Special Issue
Avant-garde Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hang Above Your Head - Air Freshener
Avant-garde Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Guapo vs Magma
Avant-garde Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Ducks And Drakes Of Guapo And Cerberus Shoal
Metal Related 2003
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Twisted Stems
Metal Related 2006

GUAPO live albums

GUAPO demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

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GUAPO movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

GUAPO Reviews

GUAPO History Of The Visitation

Album · 2013 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
A comparatively terse album for Guapo - in its physical incarnation the release is made a bit more tempting with a bonus live DVD - finds the band exploring its usual vast range of sounds. The epic Pilman Radiant finds them bridging sounds ranging from the brutal prog of Five Suns or Black Oni to more jazzy, lighter affairs, reminiscent of the Canterbury-tinged early sound of RIO pioneers like Samla Mammas Manna or Henry Cow. Complex #7 is a harshly electronic intermission before the foreboding Tremors From the Future plays us out. Not quite as groundbreaking as Five Suns or Black Oni, but it's still nice to see Guapo keeping their hand in the game.

GUAPO Black Oni

Album · 2005 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Guapo's Black Oni is much in the same vein as the preceding Five Suns - an intoxicating blend of mid-1970s King Crimson, early Univers Zero, classic-era Magma and a whole bunch more besides. Once again, the band take a Magma-inspired approach to compositional structure, producing an album-length suite which is full of twists and turns and remains vivid and entertaining right to the end, and on the whole I think there's a bit more of a Univers Zero vibe about this one than the previous one, but really they're much of a muchness - if you like one, you'll like the other, if you don't like one you'll most likely like neither.

GUAPO Five Suns

Album · 2004 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Sure, the influences of Guapo might be fairly typical for RIO bands - Magma, the mid-1970s incarnation of King Crimson and Univers Zero - but it's the way they bring these influences together on Five Suns which makes it such a fun trip. You have the Magma influence in the deep, pulsating rhythms and the epic song structures (the main event here being a 45 minute track), you have the wild guitar excursions and Mellotron-mania of Red-era King Crimson, and you have the mysterious and frightening aesthetic of Univers Zero, all brought together in an avant-prog attack which will also appeal to many symphonic prog listeners.

GUAPO Black Oni

Album · 2005 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Bmiler
The most extreme end of prog, with enough heavy guitars and heavy enough where more adventurous metalheads would certainly find much to enjoy, just as much as the more extreme progheads would. The average Bon Jovi or Marillion fan need not apply, that's for sure! What you get is music that brings to mind King Crimson at its more heavy, with influences from the likes of Magma, Univers Zero, and the likes. Lots of heavily fuzzed bass and guitar work from Matt Thompson (whose brother is Andy Thompson, who runs the Planet Mellotron website, and in fact his tron is used on this album), electric piano and even Mellotron from Daniel O'Sullivan and some intense drumming from Dave Smith. At times, his electric piano is in the Canterbury style, and even when he plays like that, you're still faced with this wall of relentless noise. 2005's Black Oni is the followup to Five Suns, and is the second in a trilogy (which ends with 2008's Elixirs). If you love Five Suns, you need this, as it's much the same (in fact the only two Guapo albums that feature the same lineup). This is a full frontal assault that even many thrash metal bands only dream of! It's a great discovery for me, and if you like the more extreme end of prog, or just something heavy and doomy sounding, you can't go wrong here!

GUAPO Towers Open Fire

Album · 1997 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Conor Fynes
'Towers Open Fire' - Guapo (3/10)

The 90's in rock music represented a bitter rebellion against the overproduced glitz of the decade prior. Although few bands would take the dissonance and fuzz as far as Guapo, it was not unprecedented for an artist to give their music a darker atmosphere. In the case of Guapo's experimental rock debut 'Towers Open Fire', the best word to describe it may be 'jarring'. Bringing in a bevy of sounds from every corner of the ugly spectrum, this is a difficult and inaccessible listen. That does not mean however, that there is much depth to the sound. Although Guapo's ambition to hurt their listeners' ears is admirable, with each listen to 'Towers Open Fire', the failed mixture of noise, hardcore punk, and jazz fusion only gets more irritating to listen to.

Guapo's sound may be compared to 90's era King Crimson, without the technical proficiency. They most reminded me of the Japanese noise rock act Zeni Geva, however scarce of KK Null's samurai yell and distinctive charm. For a three piece, Guapo can certainly get a lot of sounds going at once. Sadly, none of them are particularly well done, and many are downright unpleasant to listen to. Matt Thompson's vocals are not so much 'singing' as what I might liken to the sound of a drunk British teenager yelling at authority figures. The bass sparks an interesting thought or two- an eerie passage on 'Ceasefire Ends' illustrates this- but it's more than usually flooded over by guitars and waves of sharp electronic noise. Although 'Towers Open Fire' is unsuccessful as an album overall, many of the guitar ideas are quite interesting. Despite being executed in a rough, untuned, punk-like style, there are jazz fusion chords at work. It makes for a surprising dichotomy.

Had Guapo simply been composed of a bass, guitar, and uncoordinated drums, I would dismiss the work as amateurish and mediocre, but not 'bad'. Where 'Towers Open Fire' really goes wrong is with the electronic 'ambiance'. Dissonance has alot of untapped potential for emotional impact and power, but the noise here evokes only a dull pain inside my skull that some people like to call a headache. Not only that, but the ideas come together in such an incoherent way; although Guapo may repeat ideas, they're never concise enough to make for memorable songwriting, and never drawn out enough to create a sense of atmosphere. In short, 'Towers Open Fire' has ambition, but it falls short on virtually every front. To many people, this will be unlistenable, but even for someone open- minded enough to confront the ugly textures and freeform structure, it is difficult to recognize any depth underneath the shell. I won't say that Guapo's debut is utterly terrible, but for the effort a listener will have to put into this album, there is very little payoff.

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