Every Durango14 album has built significantly on the last one, and while 2016’s Vol. 3 was very close, I believe this is the album they were striving to make.
This is a big, explosive sounding record that’s always charging ahead and keeping the energy peaked, but it’s also a sonically diverse one. The latin-styled percussion on the first track launches straight into a party atmosphere. And that’s one thing I heard about their great performance at Surfer Joe: that they’re “more of a party band”, and indeed the lack of surfbeat, reverb, and focus on rhythm rather than guitar-based melodies leave little similarity to the sound of the 60’s, but I believe the fun-but-aggressive feeling is right in line. And a good party is always nice.
While I was having fun from the get-go, “Nube Roja” really grabbed my attention, starting with guitar, adding drums and bass, then sax, each time leaving an impression. The closing track “Malibu” also feels like it’s throwing in some big tricks, including some really standout rhythm guitar choices that swing the mood of the song.
It’s really amazing to see how this band has learned with each release how to make their melodies more frenzied, their rhythms more danceable, and their sound bigger and wilder. They were good at Vol.1 but by now they’ve truly carved out something special.
Gigante Panamericana is available on CD and Vinyl, though I wasn’t able to find any financially feasible way to obtain the vinyl here in the US. It’s also on Spotify and Amazon.