Venezuela has never been known as a stronghold of rock en español. Mexico, Argentina, and Spain still lead the pack, while Chile and Colombia have joined the rocanrol map in more recent years. But indie-dance-punk quartet La Vida Bohème can brag about having what’s arguably the best Venezuelan rock album ever. Henry D’Arthenay (guitar, vocals), Rafael Pérez (bass, vocals), Daniel de Sousa (guitar, vocals), and Sebastián Ayala (drums, vocals) are not exactly groundbreakers, but their strength is being able to combine post-punk sing-along choruses, fierce guitars, and smart arrangements without losing their pop and dance sensibilities, no matter how much experimental noise they throw into the mix. Key track: the catchy “Radio Capital,” the first single, with its nod to the Ramones’ “gabba gabba hey” chant in the “this is our party” chorus. They mean it — this is a fun and edgy album by a band meant to be seen live.
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