The last time I heard Migala, they had just released their Arde album on the esteemed Sub Pop label in the US. They sounded something like a mixture of Calexico and Leonard Cohen (with sometimes Spanish vocals), and although they intrigued me, I lost touch with them after their next album wasn't released on the same label. Flash forward a couple years, and their La Incredible Aventura is being given the deluxe treatment by Acurela Records, a CD of music packaged alongside a DVD of videos.
Musically, the group has changed in the past couple years as well. They've not only pared back the vocals a great deal, but they've moved a bit more to the center in terms of their instrumental rock sound. They rock out more, and comparisons could possibly be drawn to Friends Of Dean Martinez, who also started out sounding like a Calexico side project (indeed, they formed from various members of that group) but has since moved onto different things. "El Imperio Del Mal" opens the disc and unfortunately it's one of the weaker offerings I've heard from the group. Sounding like a complete hodge-podge, the track opens with Native American chanting before drifting into a rollicking instrumental passage that even features a sample from Star Wars (no kidding).
The release gets a little better from there, as "Dear Fear:" moves along with almost marching drums, guitars and strings that recall quiet-period Mogwai while "El Tigre Que Hay En Ti" finds the group stripping back the atmosphere a little more and getting it on with a bit of dry, funking post rock. The first time that the group sounds like they did on older releases as the rich vocals of Abel Hernandez finally make an appearence alongside strong instrumentation on the very pretty "Your Star, Strangled."
"Tuscon, Game Over" again wrangles with itself and while it contains a great deal of energy, it just doesn't contain the hooks to keep ones attention. Fortunately, the album closer of "Lecciones De Vuelo Con Mathias Rust" is an epic track that builds with layers of gorgeous strings before bursting with a celebratory midsection that really does rock out. The enclosed DVD contains footage for every track on the album and like the music contained within, it's completely random at points, pulling references from sci-fi, spaghetti westerns, kung-fu, and tons of other genres. Because of this, it often feels like there's no real rhyme or reason, and that instead of a cohesive album, it's more of a series of 10 short films that don't relate to each other much. While there are some excellent moments on La Incredible Aventura, it feels more like a transitional album than a fullfilled vision.