It couldn’t have been anything other than fate when I walked into a Sixth Street music venue on a random Saturday night and caught La Guerrilla live for the first time. That’s why it gave me such a thrill when, just a few days later, the Austin band’s EP fell into my lap.
One word comes to mind when watching La Guerrilla perform live: energy. And tons of it. With the mix of guitar, bass, trumpet, violin, trombone, drums and vocals, there’s too much of a good thing, too much insanity—all one can do is dance. Their EP of five songs, which includes a 45-second intro of sound in between the second and third track, has the power to unleash the party animal within anyone.
The intricate blend of reggae/ska and Latin indie seems easy to master, and what they’ve been compared to—Manu Chao, Sublime and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, to name a few—is understandable, but they’ve got a style all their own. The first track, “World Party One” sets the mood, while the fun “Los Besos,” reminiscent of chuntaro style, is my favorite—and the opening violins of “Out of Control” are, for lack of a better word, sick.
The eight-man band slows down with “Ganas No Me Dan”, which still ends up being a danceable beat. To be honest, the bonus track “Tabla Surfer” didn’t particularly call to me, but it’s still very Guerrilla: speedy, fun, different, with a bit of Dick Dale thrown into the mix (I’m serious, it’s somewhere in there).
There’s a reason why more and more people search for La Guerrilla shows, and why the band’s growing to be known as one of Austin’s finest. They show people a good time and they have an effortless dynamic irresistible to music lovers. And if this still hasn’t convinced you, just pick up the EP. If nothing else, the album artwork’s freakin’ awesome.