And Then There Was You
And Then There Was You (Indianola Records)
Miami local music
Powerful, melody-driven three-and-a-half-minute ditties propel this album above and beyond the muck of what has sadly become the post-punk/hardcore scene. The extremely adept rhythm section of Alex De Renzis (drums) and Steven Vasquez (bass) ably sets up the template for the twin guitars of Bret Swenson and Eddie Castineira. They in turn set up the soaring vocals of Armando Soler. The ten tracks prove to be endearing sing-alongs; only the very first, "The Beloved," seems too kitschy. Everything else rocks pretty hard — "Star Struck" and "The Devil vs. Father Moore" deserve to be played on repeat.
No Hay Espacio (Machete Music)
Black:Guayaba exists somewhere between Miami and Puerto Rico, and plays a hard-driving form of Latin rock that relies more on the rock than on the Latin. This disc contains 13 Spanish-language songs that do their job. "Peso de Amor" has a definite Living Colour sound going for it, while some other tracks get a bit of the middle-period U2 treatment. The rest can be compared to Soda Stereo and Maná. This is not a bad effort from "La Isla del Encanto."
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Dreams You Die In
The Ties That Bind (Significant Records)
This is a five-song EP of angry Miami-style hardcore similar to Minor Threat, Cro-Mags, or, locally, Trust No One and DNME. Nery and Gino's twin guitar assault glides well over Vladimir and Patrick's rhythm, with Adam's vocals leading the onslaught and guiding the few gang vocals. The record is available as a seven-inch, which I suggest you seek out — because it's what hardcore is all about! Still, the CD has slightly more informative packaging. "Why Couldn't We Play Catch" is a scathing father/son commentary, and "Follow Your Leader" tackles the usual scene politics. Fun.