House of Blues

August 15, 2004

At the least their sound was interesting. The Mexican band Kinky mixed rock, house, and traditional Latin elements Sunday night at the House of Blues. The young quintet bounded around the stage in the midst of their repetitive and bumping dance music. Imagine a Latin combination of Def Leppard and Duran Duran. Then add samples and an accordion.

Bassist Carlos Chairez's bad-ass lines were imprinted in my brain at the beginning of every song, and his was the most important instrument in the band. The bass created a foundation for everything else to build on. Luckily, the band knew when to use breakbeats and add and subtract instruments to keep things from getting monotonous.

The band has put out two albums and been together since 2000, but apparently this hasn't been enough time for them to become a solid live act. It took them half of their set time to get warmed up, whereas opener Del Castillo hit the stage tight and confident. Kinky percussionist Ulises Lozano missed cues and was offbeat, while vocalist/guitarist/D.J. Gilberto Cerezo never connected with the audience like he could have. Maybe it was the language barrier, but he looked very lonely front and center until I could see some sweat on his head.

The band hit their stride when Cerezo got behind the turntables for one song. While some of the set felt like mediocre rock or tepid dance
music, this song got me going. This high lasted another song or two before things reverted back to normal.

The band's eclectic music and many subtle sounds play better on record than at a live show, unfortunately. I wouldn't mind owning either of their two albums, but last night they came across as a young band full of more flash than substance. They need to figure out how they can hit their stride earlier in the set, and their lead singer needs to be more confident.

To their credit, they got a lot of the crowd dancing, and most of the people I talked to enjoyed the concert more than I did.

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