Release Date: Jan 25, 2011
Record label: Arts & Crafts
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Rock
Most of what’s been written about Chikita Violenta makes note that the band is from Mexico, but it’s also important to note where it fits in, which is right at home with the Arts & Crafts label roster. Its U.S. debut has a similar sound to Broken Social Scene, likely due in part to sharing producer Dave Newfeld. While BSS has evolved to layered melodies and instrumentation with vocals varying from song to song, Chikita Violenta powers forward with more focused beats and rhythms.
Those who've attended the SxSW or Coachella music festivals have been lucky enough to encounter Chikita Violenta. Over the course of two previous albums (including the lauded Star & Suns Sessions, produced by Dave Newfeld in his Canadian studio), the killer 2008 single/video "Laydown," festival appearances, and a relentless West Coast touring schedule, the quintet have begun to establish themselves on the North American scene. Tre3s, their third full-length (also produced by Newfeld in Canada) makes it easy to see why.
Chikita Violenta is a uniquely North American band. The Mexico City foursome has spent the past several years cutting its teeth in that capital's indie rock scene, furnishing a catalog that's fundamentally at odds with what its local audience asks of its own: pop songs sung in Spanish. Instead, Chikita Violenta sing in English like the 1990s American indie rock bands on which they were weaned-- Built to Spill, Pavement, Modest Mouse, Tortoise.
Don't let the girlish harmonies airing Tre3s opener "Roni" blow any sunshine under your prom dress. Mexican quartet Chikita Violenta hand claps a tight cell of indie rock scientists, its gang vox consistent with use here of Broken Social Scene knobist David Newfeld, who also produced these muchachos' 2007 album. High-flying digital cloud seeders with a Built To Spill engine block and new Flaming Lips navigation system, Chikita's sonic refractions rearrange a stew of Animal Collective sound collages ("The Pause") that often make perfect sense by the time the song has finally consumed its tail ("Siren").