El Presidente

2006-09-18 16:06
El Presidente flirts with several genres (funk, glam rock, disco, and indie pop) while keeping their own sound, mainly thanks to Gizzi's voice, which is either the album's strongest signature, or it's weakest point, depending on your taste. By keeping things varied, and maintaining a consistent quality in the songwriting, the band is one you will probably be hearing a lot more of in the future.

El Presidente have been called the Scottish Scissor Sisters, and if you like the aforementioned band, you'll probably dig this cd. The label is not entirely fair though, as El Presidente have a wider range of musical influences, and thus a far more varied sound. Many of the tracks are carried by the guitar, like the funky “Turn This Thing Around”, which offsets the fantastic vocal hook against syncopated strumming.

“Hanging Around” is another great riff based song, recalling 70s glam rock in both the guitar and vocal department. The rest of the instruments are handled with an understated energy that puts the song first, and lets the hooks shine through.

Frontman Gizzi has a strong voice, which comes across like a whiner Axl Rose singing funk. While hardly original, he has character, and his mark is all over this album, being both the vocalist and main songwriter. With the more classic rock voice, El Presidente avoid being just another new wave/new rock sound-alike, which might just be one of the band’s standout features in the current pop music climate.

The last thing Scotland or the rest of the UK needs at this point is another group that sounds like Franz Ferdinand or Interpol, and it's a good thing that El Presidente can stand apart from this trend, as they have the songs and the look (judging from their album cover) to be a heavyweight poprock contender.

The standout cuts on the CD are certainly the 2 opening tracks, “Without You”, and “Rocket”, and “Keep on Walking”, which is another glamrock stromper and comes across as a mutated U2 sewn together with T-Rex.

El Presidente put their strongest foot forward when they do the funk thing, and combine the modern/retro new wave swagger with Prince, creating something a bit new from some very familiar parts.

All in all El Presidente deliver the goods, and this CD works well as driving music, party music, or just plain sitting on the couch listening music, and has energy without being overbearing or resorting to irritating gimmicks. The most obvious flaw is the vocals, which may irritate you if you dislike high voiced, whiney, or screechy vocalists. If you don't mind Prince, Axl Rose, or glam vocals in general, you should give this album a listen.

Ivan Sadler
Dante Gizzi, former bassist of Scottish rockers Gun, returns with pleasing upbeat pop album that could be a good soundtrack to a summer holiday.

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