November 22, 2002

MACUILXOCHITL: “Five Flower”, The Aztec god of music and dance.

Music Reviews and Updates:
By Francisco H. Ciriza

VOLOVAN self-titled Lakeshore Records/Suave
****

Los Angeles indie label, Lakeshore Records and hip Mexican film/record Company, have released the debut of one of Monterrey’s newest alter-latino offspring, Volovan. Perhaps not as unique, ground-breaking, nor as blistering as Molotov, Kinky, Plastilina Mosh, or El Gran Silencio, Monterrey’s other musical babies, Volovan sounds more like a polished Jumbo, Monterrey’s power-pop kings. The four-piece group of youngsters’ sound blends heavily distorted rocking guitars and rhythms with electronic nuances and bright, often dreamy, and always sweet vocal harmonies.

The band had some difficulties gaining entry to this country recently thanks to stepped up security by U. S. immigration services, but should be heading this way soon for some concert dates. Keep your eyes and ears open for this excellent band!

CIRCO
No Todo Lo Que Es Pop Es Bueno
Head Music
***1/2

This outfit devolped from the aftermath of Puerto Rican trop-rockers El Manjar de los Dioses’ demise in 2001. Three remaining members audtioned bassists and guitarists and added two new members to the band and within weeks had formed Circo. Following the hectic pace precedent, the band wrote, rehearsed, and recorded their debut disc for the Miami based Head Music label in four months.

Not exactly following a formula for success, ironically, the band’s abilities apparently won out and impressed as Circo received two 2002 Latin Grammy Award nominations for it’s strongly electronic-based sound. Programmed rhythms form a jumpy and sometimes even quirky foundation brought down to earth by sometimes traditional Caribbean-flavored sounds. The result often is an eclectic and interesting blend of very danceable anthems, while other times exhibiting a bit more soul with groove and lounge sounds reminiscent of Colombia’s Aterciopelados or Chile’s La Ley.

The band was a hit at this past year’s annual LAMC (Latin Alternative Music Conference) in New York and has both a live album as well as a new studio record in the works for the near future.

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