Best Local Latin Rock Band - 2001
No man is a prophet in his hometown. So maybe that's why in six years of gigging like crazy all over town, pan-Latin rockers Bacilos registered nary a mention in New Times. Now that they're off to greener pastures, touring Latin America for the Miami-based WEA Latina label, the trio of Colombian-born frontman Jorge Villamizar, Brazilian-born bass player Andre Lopes, and Puerto Rican drummer JJ Freire is sorely missed. The University of Miami alums were staples at the Marlin, Churchill's, Tobacco Road, and the celebrated Stephen Talkhouse. Their self-titled, self-produced release is a document of those years, capturing the energy of the band's live shows and hinting at the range of Villamizar's songwriting craft. His vocal skills are impressively versatile as well, whether warbling on the heartbreaker "Soledad," warning of environmental destruction on "There Goes the Wood," or packing a political punch on "Chronicle of an Announced Immigration." If it's true, as they sing, that now everybody wants Taco Bell, Bacilos' fusion of Latin folk traditions with good old rock and roll is just the antidote for homogenized Latin pop.