Music News


In an interview with Tampa's Weekly Planet earlier this year, John Paul Caballero, bassist for California-based dios (below), predicted that "everybody's gonna write about [the fact that] we're a bunch of Mexicans, that we're from Hawthorne and sound like the Beach Boys." But journalists who stop there will be giving short shrift to a quintet that NME calls one of the top fifty bands to watch this year. Yes, Caballero and his comrades (drummer Jackie Monzon, keyboardist Jimmy Cabeza DeVaca and sibling singer-guitarists Joel and Kevin Morales) are all U.S. natives of Latino descent, and they hail from Hawthorne, whose favorite sons, the aforementioned Boys, exert a pronounced influence on their music. Indeed, "50 Cents," a track from the act's self-titled debut on the StarTime International imprint, salutes Brian Wilson via a falsetto snippet that mirrors one on Pet Sounds. Elsewhere on the disc, though, the players sprinkle their pop impulses with plenty of updated psychedelia: Witness "Nobody's Perfect," a prolonged drone turned opus that's as trippy as it is hummable. On occasion, the group's members, joined at this show by Bear Vs Larger Bear and Januar, exhibit more taste than originality. But if they keep coming up with songs as good as "The Uncertainty," a dreamy mélange of melody and sound effects, that will change. And then everybody will have a lot more to write about.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts