rick and roll
(All Album Reviews by rick and roll)
El Trio is from the Dominican Republic, and this is their second release. The music is tight, the vocals aggressive (sung in native tongue), and the elements cross between fusion, funk and prog.
The record opens with "Solo en cancion", a funky, hard edged rocker. There's a strong rhythmic interplay, a fine opening track. The instrumental break is a true highlight, it's very well written and kicks ass.
Not sure about the second track, "Dos grandes". It starts out similar to latter period Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the instrumental breaks are easily the best feature…but the vocals seem at odds with the music. They don't mesh well.
There's a little of everything in track 3, "Sangre del Corazon". I hear, swing, lounge, jazz, hard rock, and a hint of old Chicago. As expected, it yields mixed results. The lead is excellent.
Back to da funk with "Vicio". A very fun song, with some definite hard rock hints.
El Trio slows things down on "Del deseierto". Congas and assorted percussion are prevalent here. Also some nice sax work, with more hints to Chicago. This is the one of the more mature and progressive tracks on the record. Another pleasant feature is the vocals, which are less in your face, and mix well with the music.
"Cancion de los muertos" continues the percussion as the main feature. I'm reminded of the great 70's band If on this one. Augmenting the percussion is some good, driving bass lines. The guitar leads are once again excellent. The ending is unexpectedly subtle, and a nice touch.
"La verdad" has a slow, angry guitar tone. This would be a great number for Jack Bruce to try out. The music smolders, and is a very enjoyable tune. Yet another nice break and lead, one of my favorites on the record.
"Cancion de Paloma" is very Latin, and jazzy.
Now we're back to the heavy funk with "No e como ante", another winner of a track. Contains the best instrumental break on the record.
Talk about a curveball…"Juan quiere venderla" is pure thrash, with of all things, heavy metal saxophone. Not something you want to play to get in the mood, unless you're in the mood for some fightin'.
"La necia" at 8 minutes is the longest track. It's like the earlier number "Del deseierto" in that it smolders with good sax work.
"Jessica saca la lengua" closes out la Gris with a slow, singalong tune. A nice feature is the slide guitar, gives the song and in turn the record a feeling of moving back to Earth.
Overall, I enjoy the effort. The vocals, while strong, are often are a bit louder than needed. They have a lounge quality like Morrisey, although vocalist Jonas Duluc's voice is much stronger. I'm sure there are those that will not take to them because they are not sung in English. I for one would rather hear the native language…it sounds more natural.
The music is what shines here. It's commendable to hear a variety of styles, without sounding like you're forcing things and trying to do too much.
- Rick (and roll) Dashiell