Saturday, August 14, 2010

El Vato - Loaded Dice - CD Review by A.J. Wachtel

El Vato
Loaded Dice
12 Song CD
By A.J.Wachtel
Veteran thunder rocker Arlo West has long impressed me with his loud, aggressive, take no prisoners guitar playing and Loaded Dice with its blistering leads reinforces his powerful and 100% Testosterone style: sorta like if Billy Gibbons or Stevie Ray fronted Moving Targets but with more of a Tex-Mex feel and a bit of Southern Rock thrown in. And always that punk attitude; in the songs' lyrics and occasionally in their arrangements. And every song this 3 piece plays is cut from the same cloth: bragging and boastful lyrics with some of the melodies REALLY good; "Big Bad Wolf", "Twisted", "Gritty Mountain" and "American Dream" tell good stories punctuated by great guitar work and the vocals are also all believable and easily communicated to the listener. The only thing better than listening loudly to this CD, I would imagine, would be to catch these renegades live and onstage deep in rural Maine where they are now based. Each performance, I am sure, is elevated into an EVENT- but Maine may not be big enough to capture the energy of this band. Play this CD loud.

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