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Rodrigo y Gabriela - Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rodrigo Y Gabriela

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

ADMITTEDLY, this was an album that escaped our radar in 2006. But having seen them live at Shepherd’s Bush Empire recently, we felt we just had to play catch up and tell you how brilliant it is.

Rodrigo y Gabriela is an exhilarating showcase of one of the most talented (and unique) acts around at the moment. It was definitely one of the best albums of 2006.

These former metallers combine Latin American and flamenco flavour with metal and rock to dazzling effect. Debut album Re-Foc was a fine introduction to their breathtaking style way back in 2003 but this eponymous offering is the real deal.

In studio form, listeners can geuinely develop an appreciation for the depth of their talent in preparation for their awe-inspiring live act.

The formula is simple – Rodrigo provides the majority of the melodies while Gabriela takes the more percussive, strummy role on her acoustic ‘axe’.

They sound like a band at times, thanks to the beats, but the realisation that it’s just a boy and a girl on two acoustic guitars makes the scope of their sound all the more amazing.

They do instantly provoke flamenco references but their music is much more diverse and draws from a vast array of cultures.

Take their breathtaking cover versions of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven or Metallica’s Orion (both firm live favourites), or their ability to mix metal influences with Latin American.

Nothing about the album (or any of their music) allows for easy pigeon-holing given the way it constantly defies expectation.

The presence of veteran eclectic rock producer John Leckie confirms the scope of their ambition and the extent of their reach.

Rodrigo Y Gabriela is, without doubt, a sparkling combination of two breathtaking talents that provides one of the most exciting albums you’re ever likely to hear.

Passionate, intricately layered and rousingly performed, it’s a potent cocktail of influences that’s totally intoxicating.

Download picks: Tamacun, Stairway To Heaven, Orion, Juan Loco, Vikingman, PPA

Track listing:

  1. Tamacun
  2. Diablo Rojo
  3. Vikingman
  4. Satori
  5. Ixtapa
  6. Stairway To Heaven
  7. Orion
  8. Juan Loco
  9. PPA