Quitapenas Unveil Self-Titled Debut Album Of Afro-Latin Tropicalia

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There are plenty of self-evident ironies in modern Latin music laid bare by Quitapenas’ debut album. The Afro-Latin tropicalia/psychedelia quintet releases its eight-track debut album today of old-school jams that sound like the type of songs your tío danced to in order to seduce your tía back home in the old country despite being written/recorded/performed by a group of 20-somethings from California. It’s an interesting and delightful shift that’s been occurring in the Southland for some time now with local artists emulating and recreating the traditional sounds of Central America and South America from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.

Quitapenas officially put their own stamp on that music scene with their self-titled debut album. The album, produced by Alberto Lopez of Quetzal and Jungle Fire, perfectly captures the vibrant and energetic sound that has long been a staple of their live performances in Los Angeles and their hometown of Riverside. Play opening track “Valle Moreno” and “Campesino” at a loud enough volume, and odds are your ears will fool you into thinking you’re at one of their concerts.

Daniel “Choco” Gomez’s crisp guitarwork takes the center spotlight throughout most songs with his notes gliding off the fast percussion work of Eduardo Salvador Valencia and David “Dirty” Quintero. Mark Villela keeps them all in pace with his guache and guacharaca while Hector “Toto” Chavez rounds things out on bass and saxophone on a track or two.

The album also includes two of their two most popular concert tracks, “Papaya,” and “Vamos A Mi Casa,” the latter of which the band closes many of their sets with and also serves closing duties on the album.

Quitapenas, the album, is a great first effort from Quitapenas, the band, which is a great introduction for new fans as well as a reminder for longtime fans of the fun the band continues to serve on the stage.

Check out a preview of the new album, “Valle Moreno,” before the full-length drops tomorrow on Bandcamp.