San Diego's New Mexico serve up a slice of sunny garage rock and add a scoop of cool new wave on their debut album. Malpais offers an exciting contrast of sounds and is a large step away from the bandmembers' punk roots, fusing jangly chorus-infused Cure-style guitar parts, thick Gary Numan keyboards, and the stinging, impatient energy of early Police. The band's chemistry is great, and the whole thing comes together remarkably well, without a weak track (although the instrumental breakbeat title track at the end is quite a departure). Filled with jaunty melodies over biting beats, each song is flawlessly constructed and never loses sight of the all-important big hook.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Lymangrover