Voodoo Glow Skulls - Adicción, Tradición, Revolución
Release Date: October 5th, 2004
Record Label: Victory Records
It's safe to say that there comes a moment in each artists career when their efforts emerge quite colourless in comparison to their previous work, and while few musicians do survive the elimination, hardly any withstand the test of time. Imagine if you were to eat your absolute favourite cuisine each and every day for the remainder of your lifetime. As much as you may enjoy its flavour meal after meal, there comes a point where you discover the realization that the experience has become rather stale. In the case of the latest release from the Voodoo Glow Skulls, Adicción, Tradición, Revolución, the Victory Records act offer all the unique makings of what characterizes their existence, but the product fails to provide the entertainment factor that listeners crave.
But, while the release is unable to kidnap this critics attention, is it enough to satisfy ones addiction? The Vooodoo Glow Skulls have concocted a steady formula and recipe built and based upon energy and force, and while their latest performance may not be the most captivating we've experienced thus fur, these seven musicians are consistent with their presentations. Yet, while the band performs on Adicción with all the usual pieces of the puzzle intact, the once visible spark appears to have faded, and the result is exceedlingly less enthusiastic.
The album opens itself with "Ghettoblaster", a cluttered and chaotic offering from the Riverside, California septet. It's this early in the album, and unfortunately from this exact moment on, that the undeniable impression of redundancy is most easily visible, as listeners familiar with the bands back catalogue are launched into a sheer state of deja vu. However, while the band's attempts often sound jumbled, lead vocalist Franks Casillas' performance is undoubtedly the group's most prominent setback. While Casillas' vocals aren't poor, or by any means unbearable, it seems his character gains little to no progress between releases, and the aftereffect is often irritating. The record suffers from similar complications on "Mayhem and Murder", "Dia de los Muertos", "Disaster", and the albums title track, "Adicción, Tradición, Revolución."
Yet, no matter how uninspiring a product may appear on first glance, any consumer can usually bank on a small handful of redeeming qualities. Thankfully, the Voodoo Glow Skulls are no exception, as Adicción, Tradición, Revolución packs in a few unexpected, eye-opening punches. It's hard to ignore the belief that the Voodoo Glow Skulls are at their best while the pandemonium is put on hold, as the band runs through the albums first prize. Unfortunately, gifts like "Smile Now, Cry Later", which present an atypical, relaxed, comfortable atmosphere, and supply the audience with a refreshing intermission to regain their stamina, are few and far between. However, while the album deteriorates once more from dilemmas parallel to the aforementioned issues, the band holds their ground with a unique, ska-inspired rendition of the Gun's N' Roses classic, "Used To Love Her." But, it's got to prove to be a bit discouraging for a group of musicians whose strongest appearance falls on a number that isn't rightfully their own.
But, how does an act with so many distinct flaws manage to own a list of achievements including a million albums sold and performances in exotic locations? In their sixteen years of existence, the Voodoo Glow Skulls have perfected a few tricks of the trade, and it's these qualities that recapture my respect for these seven performers. The band's horn section, which consists of trombonist Brodie Johnson, trumpeter Gabriel Dunn, and saxophonist James Hernandez, produce a sound that compliments the band's energy fabulously, and the incorporation of cultural influences into the group's unique blend of ska and high-octane punk rock is miraculous. While each musicians skill may shine beautifully throughout Adicción, and the band may have achieved feats other artists can only dream of, these factors simply aren't enough to skyrocket the seven-piece to the top of my favourites list. But, may the Voodoo Glow Skulls be grateful that they are enough to earn their place.
In the end, it's difficult to determine whether you're a fan of Adicción, Tradición, Revolución or not, and the decision is bothersome. For every uplifiting creation the Voodoo Glow Skulls excute, you can't help but feel like there's two that drag you back down, and while some may be content with this mediocrity, others will label it as irksome. Adicción, Tradición, Revolución is a release built on speed, energy, and force, and one will that will satisfy previous listeners, but if your eyes are set on discovering an act ready and willing to reinvent the wheel, I would suggest searching elsewhere.
there are a handful of albums from two years ago that are still relevant right now, and this album probably isn't one of them
When I'm sent an album to review, a release date does very little to influence my decision of whether or not to review it. If I feel the content is worthy and deserving of a review, it doesn't matter to me if the album comes out tomorrow or if it was released a decade ago.