Panteón Rococó

Panteón Rococó

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Mexican ska and reggae group Panteón Rococó may be a totally new name to some listeners. However, their 2007 major-label debut record Panteón Rococó marks nearly 12 years in the business for the veterans of the Latin punk/ska underground scene. Released by Sony/BMG, the 2007 project may be the album that introduces Panteón Rococó to U.S. audiences. For their large and loyal fan base, it will announce the band's breakthrough into the big time. The 13-track disc is the group's most polished, market-ready release to date. Featuring creative production, and clearly a major-label budget, Panteón Rococó has seldom sounded so slick, lively, and punchy. While the band has strayed to explore the outer limits of salsa, merengue, and indie rock in the past, the nine-piece group sticks pretty close to their rock/ska roots. There are a number of cuts, including "Vendedora de Caricias" and "Estrella de Roja," where the line between ska and vaudeville becomes blurred, but charmingly so. The arrangements and inventive qualities throughout are top-shelf. There's a musical surprise around nearly every corner, from straight-up punk on "De Luna a Sol" to hints of reggaeton on "Triste Realidad." The high energy is unrelenting, but with enough twists and turns that the ear does not tire. For listeners getting their first taste of this Mexican favorite with this album, it will surely leave a positive first impression.

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