Kinky Hybrid 

 
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I first encountered Kinky while in Monterrey a couple of summers ago. They stole the show from headliners Plastilina Mosh, another regional act who had limited, mostly positive, exposure in the States. Unfortunately, Mosh's experimental sound - so catchy and compelling on CD - translated into a lackluster, lethargic, and altogether forgettable performance; Kinky, in contrast, combined a dynamic stage presence and seemingly boundless energy with their near-flawless marriage of adrenaline-fueled rock music and sampled beats, the sonic equivalent of an animated Salvador Dalí painting come to life, the soundtrack to dripping clocks and floating Christs.

Playful, kinetic, and irreverent, Kinky was a local favorite long before the record deals and commercials made them a recognizable, if not recognized, group. Recorded in the urban centers of Monterrey and Los Angeles, and the jungles of Quintana Roo in Southern Mexico, Atlas, Kinky's stateside sophomore release, continues their combination of guitar-driven rock mixed with drum beats and norteño nuances. "Presidente," the disc's first track, asks "De que color/es nuestro presidente?" A pointed critique of Mexican president Vicente Fox, it's also the lone track which can be characterized as overtly political.

Atlas

Kinky

(Nettwerk)
"The Headphonist," with its too-brief accordion samples, Mod-like synthesizer interludes, and Simon & Garfunkel-ish song lyrics ("What is the shape of silence? Even if the silence is still with me no one can hear it") only hints at the creative influences driving their hybrid sound. The mournful "aaaauuuuuaaaa" of "Minotauro" perfectly characterizes the titular character's despair at being trapped in his labyrinth, and applies equally well to the office worker trapped behind a desk, with no way out. The album ends with the dream-like "María José," another smoothly melodic metaphorical tale about metamorphosis, personal transformation and inner beauty.

A feel-good album from a band called Kinky? Share the love.


More by Alejandro Pérez

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