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The Brooklyn trio las rosas have their roots in bands like Harlem and Wild Yaks, small combos that crackled with the vibrant energy of the best rock & roll with simple tunes, sharp hooks, spiky guitars and snotty attitude. Las Rosas take the best of those two bands and hone it to a fine point on their debut album, everyone gets exactly what they want The songs have the swagger and strut of classic ’60s garage rock, the rhythm section of bassist Jose Aybar and drummer Christopher Lauderdale are tight and action packed, and the sound of the record is immediate and loads of fun.
These factors would be enough to make the album a worthwhile addition to the garage rock continuum, but when the exploits of vocalist/ guitarist Jose Boyer are dropped on top like…


…a cheerful cherry, things get even more impressive. His guitar playing is whip smart and razor sharp as he drops glorious riff after glorious riff, sounding like he’s done his homework for sure but never coming off like a copycat at all. His vocals are even better, slurring deliriously through the rockers, emoting like a stray cat on the ballad, always sounding weird and a little tipsy. There’s a little Ray Davies dandy drawl in the there, maybe a little Mick and Keith sass, but mostly he sounds like an idiosyncratic oddball and his style certainly helps Las Rosas stand out from the garage rock masses.

So do the memorable tunes that make up the album’s tracklist. Speaker rattling rave ups like “Ms. America” and “Black Cherry”share time with midtempo jangle poppers (“Moody”), rambling rockers like “5000 Hit” and the super catchy “Mr. Wrong” pair up perfectly with moody ballads (“Rose,” “Bad Universe.”) There’s not a weak song anywhere and just about any one picked at random would give a garage mixtape a boost of guts, energy and fun.

Los Rosas might not be reinventing the garage rock wheel on their debut album, that would be too much to ask. They do inject a sometimes tired form with lots of spunky energy, off-kilter charm and woozy personality though, and that plus the killer songs, make it an album well worth investigating.


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