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El Trio - 2013 - "Las Manos"

(46:45, ‘El Trio’)


1.  Desconectar 4:52
2.  Tanto Amor 3:29
3.  Buenas Noches 3:23
4.  Ojo Artificial 5:01
5.  Cancion Sin Nombre 4:44
6.  Canterbule-III 5:03
7.  Reir Pa No Llorar 5:09
8.  No Somo Indio 4:32
9.  Uanabi 4:56
10. Fuentes 5:36


Jonatan Pina Duluc – vocals; guitars; saxophone
Johandy Urena – drums 
Kilvin Pena – bass 
Jeffrey Casimiro – flute 
Patricio Bonilla – trombone 
Juan Gabriel Martinez – trumpet 
Eliezer Ramirez – percussion 
Dionisio De Moya – guitars 
Karen Michelle – b/v
Fatima Franco – b/v
Ivan Batista – b/v

Prolusion. The Dominician Republic isn't the spot in the world you'd first start thinking about when pondering upon rock music, but this is the certified home of EL TRIO. For just over 10 years the band has performed and recorded their particular brand of rock music there, and over the years three full length albums have been released by this fine threesome. "Las Manos" from 2013 is the most recent of these, and was self released by the band in the summer of 2013.

Analysis. When a band choose a name such as El Trio, a few obvious associations do come to mind. Three members, obviously, and the famed power trio format in particular. While the band's previous album, at least to my recollection, didn't quite fit in with the latter part of this association, their latest one is probably a bit closer to music of that particular ilk. Compact riffs with a distinct hard rock expression give this album a harder edged feel throughout. With solid rhythms and a bassist with a keen sense for melodies just as much as rhythm emphasis those with a taste for 70's style hard rock do get quite a bit of material to enjoy here. Especially those amongst that crowd who appreciate some psychedelic oriented, twisted details at times. There's a bit more to this band and this album than just that of course, but I'd argue a case that on this particular occasion this is something of a core foundation. Diversity is presented in a few different manners here. Bassist Pena and drummer Urena fairly often shift to a more jazz-oriented expression, the latter also adding some Latin touches to the proceedings at times, and when guitarist Duluc joins in with lazy guitar licks, delicate soloing or funk-tinged guitar riffs, El Trio suddenly reorients to traditional jazz rock or fusion. In part or in whole, this transformation is a fairly frequent one throughout, and arguably most prominent on the composition Canterbule-III, a creation that also sports some of the more delicate instrumental details on this album. Towards the end of the disc El Trio reveals that they have a few additional surprises in store. No Somo Indio is best described as a punk-oriented funk affair, I guess, or perhaps a funk-oriented punk tune might be better, a spirit further explored on the following Uanabi with some beefy, metal-oriented riffs added to the proceedings that reminded me just as much of Metallica as Black Sabbath: a stark and intriguing contrast to the aforementioned funk and punk vibes indeed. Concluding track Fuentes reels in the band again though, with a song that alternates between being a delicate ballad, a harder edged power trio rock affair and a delicate jazz rock creation.

Conclusion. El Trio's third studio production "Las Manos" comes across as a compelling affair, their Latin flavored blend of hard psychedelic-tinged rock, jazz rock and fusion one performed with an ease and elegance that documents a very capable band unit. As the touch of jazz rock and fusion runs like a thematic thread throughout, potential buyers need to have a taste for music of that variety, and those amongst them who also enjoy their fair share of harder edged riffs with psychedelic touches should find this album to be on that merits a closer inspection.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: January 8, 2014
The Rating Room

Related Links:

El Trio


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