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Rodrigo y Gabriela, 9 Dead Alive (ATO Records)




Rodrigo y Gabriela, 9 Dead Alive (ATO Records)
CD Review May 8, 2014

05/08/14
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Rodrigo y Gabriela, 9 Dead Alive (ATO Records)

You know this Mexican boy-girl duo as the Riverdance of flamenco, single-mindedly slashing, bashing and rabbit-punching their acoustic guitars until you can practically smell the Ace bandages that are surely about to be wrapped around their hands to calm the swelling. They started as two ingredients of a metal band until they tired of trying to make a splash in that area, then promptly went on to big albums, helping to soundtrack big films and a White House performance. I don’t know about you, but try as I might, the novelty’s worn off on me; what I see here are a couple of savvy young businesspeople making amends for allowing a horn orchestra into their last album (2012’s Area 52) and professing to “return to their roots,” which I took to mean a more world-type sound, not the somewhat tired set of unplugged metal riffs we have here. Yes, it’s a cool thing that they do; metal kids can kind of sit there in their private stoner hazes pretending to their Beavis and Butthead cohorts that they deeply feel this faux-headbanger trip, and regular straights also get something out of it as an earbud curveball. See, what bugs me is that if this were just another metal band, they wouldn’t be this big — “Torito” steals the syncopation from the Dropkicks’ “Shipping up to Boston,” and there are too many standard Flying V poses going on. Feel me? No? B — Eric W. Saeger





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