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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cicatrix

Posted on Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Cicatrix
Label: Feed the Hungry
Length: LP
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Cicatrix
The loping, ska-based groove of Monte Negro's first single, 'Give Me Love (No Llores),â?� is a bit of deceptive marketing. While its lightly blunted vibe may be appealing to the Lost Tribe of Brad Nowell, it's in no way indicative of the diverse fire to be found on the rest of Cicatrix. Tight, melodic and absolutely unafraid to meld multiple guitar-driven styles into the creation of a unique sound, the bilingual Monte Negro pushes beyond the soft expectations of both rock en Espanol and mainstream rock. With a thick, miasmic approach to their production, Monte Negro is occasionally reminiscent of fellow Spanish-speakers Volovan from Monterrey, Mexico. But, language aside, what Monte Negro has created with Cicatrix is a blueprint for what rock radio should sound like. Driving choruses elevate otherwise pedestrian tracks like 'Don't Let Me Down,â?� but it's on cuts like the crunchy and high-octane 'Me Duele No Estar Junto a Tiâ?� (which, again, has more Kingston than Tijuana in its blood) that Monte Negro excels. Though the group's tendency toward midtempo equivocation ('Wheel of Time,â?� for example) and high-gloss polish occasionally gets the best of it, sky-high anthems like 'No One Knowsâ?� and 'Arde El Corazonâ?� more than make up for such missteps.

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