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The Brandos – Los Brandos

The Brandos
Los Brandos
by Anton Sanatov at 06 November 2017, 10:53 PM

Saddle up partner and take a sip of that blood-red sunset…we’re going for a ride.

Some artists just can’t resist but take you on an adventure. Of course, it’s one thing to make it your mission statement, but it is a complete;y different feat to actually make you taste the sand in the blowing wind. Thematically inclined acts are a particularly endearing bunch, for every record they create looks to transcend musical boundaries and become a tangible construct of reality. The Alternative Rock project THE BRANDOS - led by multi-instrumentalist Dave Kincaid – have been pursuing such connotations for many years and on their long-awaited 2017 release “Los Brandos” do nothing less than deliver them.

Get ready to find yourself south of the border (perhaps following the band’s 2006 release “Over The Border”) in the heart of Mexican beauty. The album plays like the ending of classic western, and if there isn’t a story here, then you could easily be fooled, for the each song appears to take you into a part of some elaborate narrative.

The record starts off with two Spanish-language items, the first of which, “Señor Coyote”, opens up with an Al Di Meola guitar run that leads into mildly distorted Alt-Rock guitars that spring the Spanish-tinged number into its lingual counterpart “Quere a los Niños”, a straightforward 4/4 travel companion that resonates of the alternative stylings employed by the likes of CONCRETE BLONDE (see the album “Mexican Moon”).

The album’s first single  “Suffer In Silence” is actually one of the milder and - may I say - blander tracks on the album, being the simple ballad that it is, yet where the band truly shine is when they dive neck deep into their Spanish influences, as is evidenced on the gorgeous flamenco-infused  “Jacinto Chiclana”. This album’s highlight track plays almost like an homage to the likes of Manolo Sanlucar, and is a true testament to the talents of Dave Kincaid.

The record also boasts some heavy touches, with whiskey (or tequila) soaked Blues Rockers like the wah-heavy “Maligna Presencia” and the shuffled “These Trouble Times” adding some bite to an otherwise rather romantic tone of the album. Yes, ballads are at the helm here, as the bittersweet tears of tracks likes “Woodstock Guitar” and “Bella Encantadora” soak the tape with saccharine acoustic chords and dominate this scenic enterprise.

The production on “Los Brandos” is rather stripped-down - especially in comparison to the aforementioned “Over The Boarder”. Yet this adds a truly compelling and delightfully vintage quality to the record that, owing to the fine mixing, makes it sound very classy and pure. The instrumentation is also fantastic, and earns high praise across the spectrum.

Overall – it’s not a classic but it sure sounds like one. “Los Brandos” walks off into the sunset with its head held high and a happy end in sight. THE BRANDOS showcase their seasoned approach to music by compiling a track list of finely crafted songs and skilful musicianship that should be a delight to any true connoisseur.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Señor Coyote
2. Querer a los Niños
3. Suffer in Silence
4. Woodstock Guitar
5. Jacinto Chiclana
6. Maligna Presencia
7. What Kind of a World
8. Bella Encantadora
9. These Troubled Times
10. A Todo Dar
Dave Kincaid – Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Keyboards, Percussion, etc.
Tommy Goss – Drums
Record Label: Blue Rose Records


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