Review: Los Pao Paos – Los Pao Paos
National Music Reviews
Los Pao Paos
Los Pao Paos
Devil in the Woods
Los Pao Paos = Green Day + Sonido Gallo Negro + Rema
I have a friend in the Dominican Republic surfing right now. I have another friend scouting out the dingiest punk concert he can find in Los Angeles … and I have myself, standing next to my open refrigerator, chomping down chips and salsa while swinging my hips to “Señorita Muerte.” Los Pao Paos’ self-titled album spins these three scenarios into a delicious blend of tropical sunshine and grunge punk.
The project is organic in every sense—the band came together through friends smoking weed and sharing music, and the music reflects these natural beginnings. Jagged electric guitar scuffs the edges while bongos and maracas glaze sunshine over each beat. While the songs have similar instruments, sounds and tempos, I find myself surprised at the start of each track at how creative they were with their rhythms. Every individual song has its own voice and personality without straying from the overall tone of the album: gnarly.
“Manifiesto Surrealista” kicks off the album with what should be a track from an action movie soundtrack. The song takes listers on a ride, exciting us with ever-changing tropical percussion and hoots and hollers. It would be nearly impossible to believe band members Brandon Welchez and Aarón Bautista had never surfed. The entire album starts out with a massive wave and rides it out all the way to the end.
“Señorita Muerte” begins sweet. The honey sunshine of a dance beat tastes familiar, but listeners soon discover black licorice cutting the sweetness in just the right places. Screeching guitar winds its way right down into a punk rocker’s shoes, only to make him dance to reggae as “Quiero Ser Tu Perro” opens. These were the three standout tracks, the defining moments of Los Pao Paos.
The album creates its own dynamic flow and engages taste, sight, sound and touch into only nine tracks. Los Pao Paos is both badass and easygoing, and it might be the exact balance everyone needs. Blending genres is no new game to the music industry, but Los Pao Paos created something honest, unique and truly compelling for any music lover. This music is drinkable sunshine—it feels so fresh, thick and tangible that you forget it’s only a feeling. –Harper Haase