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What if Fall Out Boy or The Killers were bi-lingual? Get your minds out of the gutter, it means speaks two languages easily, people. Well, there's a good shot that they'd both sound a lot like CICATRIX, the latest release by Monte Negro. This 13-track offering, which switches effortlessly from English to Spanish singing, has a plethora of outside influence seep in, yet manages to sound distinct and unique, almost like a pop-punk band who purposely broaden their horizons with a varied number of styles and textures. Tracks like "Give Me Love" boasts a soulful reggae backbeat that doesn't sound forced in the least, "Arde El Corazon" translates the alternative flavor of Incubus and At the Drive In for new sets of ears, while "Lejos" and "Alma de Mujer" would sound just as at home on a Mana album than it does here. Crossover appeal, passionate performance, and a world beat mindset help catapult CICATRIX across barriers and land in a prime position to conquer a whole new musical frontier.
- Mike SOS