Kinky - Barracuda
Record Label: Kin Kon
Release Date: February 24, 2009
In the United States, we tend to have a bit of a nasty habit. Unless a particular act is shoved down our throats constantly, we usually ignore artists that come from different areas of the world, whether they be from India or China, or even right next door in Canada or Mexico. Billy Talent could probably fill an arena in some parts of Canada, but they are relative no-names down here. Mexico’s Allison can fill 5,000 seat halls in their home country (and possibly in the San Diego area), but other than that nobody knows them. This is the case with Kinky, an electronic rock band out of Monterrey, Mexico. Despite tours with the likes of The Flaming Lips, los Lonely Boys, and Shakira, and having penned the song used by the Los Angeles Galaxy, they remain unknown in America. To put it bluntly, this band deserves more.
With their latest effort, Barracuda, Kinky breaks their long-time tradition of self-producing albums, with friends like Money Mark (known for his work with the Beastie Boys) helping them break out of their former creative blocks. Though I’m not too familiar with Kinky’s back catalog, I can easily guess that this album is a maturation in the band’s sound. I can also suggest that the band should stick to self-producing their albums, since a lot of this albums flaws were revealed due to inadequate production.
Album opener “Hasta Quemarnos” sets a very positive tone for the record overall. It has a very catchy, addicting beat, and incorporates a bit of salsa (!) into it. The rest of the album, though it fails to measure up to the high standards of the opener (with the exception of album closer “Mis Pasos, Tus Huellas”), refuses to disappoint. The album is chock full of good tracks, with very few stumbling points. This band knows how to mix things up, adding something unique to tracks that would’ve been average and easily forgettable. The only exceptions to this general rule are “Those Girls” and “We Proudly Present.” These tracks I recommend skipping, and I often wonder why they weren’t cut (the album has fourteen tracks, and cutting two wouldn’t have made it too short).
In terms of musicianship, the album lets each of its members stand out equally. Vocalist Glberto Cerezo shows his stuff on “Hasta Quemarnos,” “Masacre Sònica,” “Por La Boca,” and “Mis Pasos, Tus Hellas.” Guitarist Carlos Chairez proves himself mainly on “The Day I Lost The Beat,” “Por La Boca,” and “Mis Pasos, Tus Huellas.” Omar Gòngora commands his drum kit on “TachiMariPedònCocongo” and “El Tiempo,” and “Mis Pasos, Tus Huellas.” Bassist Cesar Pliego downplays his bass on this album, though its subtle effect enhances most of the songs on the album. Finally, Ulises Lozano, the genius behind the keyboards and synths, pretty much commands the disc. Throughout this effort, his electronics save a lot of songs that would be otherwise doomed to mediocrity. His genius is most evident on “Papel Volando,” “The Day I Lost The Beat,” “Marcha Atràs,” “TachiMariPedònCocongo,” and “Mis Pasos Tus Huellos.”
Overall, Barracuda is a great album. Though no new ground is being broken, it is enjoyable and fun to dance along to. Aside from a few stumbling points, these men have proven their skill at writing good, catchy music. The major complaint lies in the production. A lot of these tracks seemed under-produced. A track like “Avion” or “Masacre Sònica” could have sounded grandiose and anthemic if a better producer were at the helm. Another small complaint is the lack of lasting value on most of the tracks. Though certain tracks only grow on you more with repeat listens (i.e “Diablo Azul,” “The Day I Lost The Beat,” and “Mis Pasos, Tus Huellos,” among a few others), the others only get boring. Perhaps most of the other members should step up a little more on some tracks, because those were the tracks synth master Lozano saves. I look forward to hearing more from this band in the future, and from here on out they are definitely on my radar.
well, this is the last review I had ever expected to find on this site, since I'm mexican, hah...but actually I don't agree with it, the RIYL makes no reference to this band at all...forever the sickest kids? c'mon, kinky does have talent.