Album Review of Gates of Gold by Los Lobos.
Release Date: Sep 25, 2015
Record label: 429 Records
Genre(s): Latin, Americana, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Roots Rock, Heartland Rock, Mexican Traditions, Tex-Mex
It’s more than 30 years since the big, boisterous Chicanos set the world rocking with the accordion-led How Will The Wolf Survive?; they have survived by constantly melding tradition with innovative rhythms and rock’n’roll. This is the first new studio album since 2010’s Tin Can Trust and, like every Los Lobos release, manages to be instantly recognisable but wildly different. There’s precious little accordion here; we’re more likely to find guitars breaking down into a discordant, crashing melee in the middle of the reflective Made To Break Your Heart, the pattering soul of There I Go or the percussive ramble of When We Were Free.
Los Lobos were already seasoned veterans who had close to a decade of live work under their belts when the 1983 EP . . .
Los LobosGates of Gold(429)3 out of 5 stars If Los Lobos sounds a bit enervated on their first studio album in five years well, who can blame them? The original quartet has been touring for over forty years (fifth member, multi-instrumentalist Steve Berlin joined in 1983) and between live and studio albums, EPs, Spanish language records, children’s releases, side and solo projects they have earned the right to sound a little tired on this eleven song set. On the surface, it’s a representative batch of Los Lobos tunes that range from the straight ahead electric blues of “Mis-treater Boogie Blues,” to bittersweet ballads (the title track), acoustic based tales of ageing (“Song of the Sun”) and a few Latin selections. While there are highlights where the band shows glimpses of how hot they remain in concert, there are just as many tracks that never find their sweet spot.