Vallejo

Vallejo

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Vallejo, at its core the Vallejo brothers A.J. (guitars/vocals), Alenandro (drums) and Omar (bass), play a musical hybrid that, if you had to give it an exact name, would probably end up under some truly awful genre title like "Latin-tinged modern rock." Their live shows have been described as "Chili Peppers/Jane's Addiction alterna-funk, Santana-esque Latino-rock jams and raucous hard rock," which is pretty apt summation of their eponymous debut too.

As dreadful as that description might sound, some of Vallejo really does sound like the intersection of Los Lobos' roots-rock and Santana's free-wheeling, often psychedelic fire, filtered and refracted through the prism of the Peppers and Porno for Pyros: That description almost precisely fits the uncredited bonus instrumental at the end of the CD, and other times you can almost play "name that tune" (the opening "Shining Sun" opens much like "Give It Away," and "Omega" howls after the Pyros' "Pets," and so on). Though it's not exactly full of startling innovations, on this debut Vallejo does manage to sift together familiar elements into new-sounding combinations with fair amounts of intelligence and passion.

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