Vicente Gayo, Vicente Gayo

Independiente, México ***
Rating: 66

By Carlos Reyes

Several blogs and bands among them Austin TV told us that Vicente Gayo was the one Mexican band to watch for in 2009. On a first impression I was in total lost in to what’s so interesting about them to justify the anticipation; maybe their name in response to the American multifaceted artist that is Vincent Gallo, the entirely blue colored album cover (in its digital release) or maybe their presence in a lack of dance fuel in Mexico’s current rock scene. But letting the overstated expectancy aside, these guys are able to hold a first album and especially their influences aboard. The band does distance itself from its fellow teenage-oriented punk/rock bloody-wannabe bands (Panda, Insite and Finde), instead the band gets closer to the more pleasant sound of The Rapture and Bloc Party, embracing the electro-sheen and stirring beats to round up what they call punk, quite similar to Division Minuscula, Los Implantes and 60 Tigres.

The self-titled album never reaches uncharted musical grounds, but it is the owner of absurd raw energy that is nicely engineered and goes on parallel with its glossy lyrics. I’m a bigger fan of its outlying participants than the front hip stuff, like in “Rec Play Stop" where a clumsy song about a recording device doesn’t allure me much but the background accompaniment and response do, giving the song a sense of return and arrival (like in Bloc Party’s amazing debut). “Vas Bien” is a memorable piece, although clearly an interlude, it’s one of the album’s soaring moments as it is part of the process getting back into the process of learning, it’s such a gratifying moment whenever a friend says “you’re doing well.”

There are some songs in English that are fundamentally interesting in trying to understand the band’s influences and aspirations. “Conversion” is ultimately the only one that gets it right even if it sounds like Panic at the Disco, you just can’t go wrong with precise and sophisticated rhythms. It is however “G-A-Y-O” that becomes the heart of the album; it’s a headrush of all sorts, finding glory in sonic moderation rather than in musical exploration, a song that should serve them plenty of confidence on their shows and that sustains its capital letters with all merit. There’s a need for better sequencing, a lack of ingenuity with lyrics, and the lack of a strong theme to uphold these songs. But there’s clearly something special about them and it’s not a hidden quality like I thought, Vicente Gayo elevates its form due to its endless force within each song and its poignant, almost heroic objective to keep the sound moving.

♫♫♫ "G-A-Y-O"