Album Review: Los Bitchos – Let The Festivities Begin!
Aran Grover reviews the quartet Los Bitchos’ debut album.
Let The Festivities Begin! is the debut album from the brand new girl-group Los Bitchos. This instrumental album offers a fun and lighthearted blend of genres from all around the world. With a Khruangbin-esque guitar tone and some epic bongo work, Los Bitchos craft a quirky and unique record that can, in their words, be the “soundtrack to setting alight to a row of flaming sambucas and losing yourself in the night”. This ‘surf-exotica’ extravaganza will have you gleefully bopping along and imagining lush beaches lit up by fire-light, bustling street markets, or even just summer barbecues with friends. Regardless of what image these sounds put in your brain, this record is a great introduction to a group of women having a good time.
amalgam of nationalities brings with it a fruitful combination of cultures and influences that produce a truly unique sound
Having witnessed the greatness of Los Bitchos live, as a warm-up for Sports Team at their Margate Bus Trip gig last summer, I can comfortably say they were the most fun of all the supports. As the sounds of the globe emanated from the stage, between songs each member would take a more than substantial swig from a hat-topped bottle of tequila. This may have been a vain attempt to match the levels of the beverage-laden audience, however, it didn’t hinder their ability to play their wicked music. As the crowd gathered far more than before, anticipating Sports Team, Los Bitchos dazzled with searing bongo solos and some upbeat, danceable rhythms, garnering some hearty cheers, which may have, in hindsight, been largly assisted by the consumption of alcohol.
Regardless of the improved opinions of drunken, sleazy, indie fans, I can confidently recommend this album to anyone looking for a laid-back album without any emotional, political, or ideological baggage. If I have somehow failed to mention already, this album is fun.
The band consists of “4 gals from the underground realms of London, tripping out on Tequila and Cumbia vibes”. The members are all from different places across the globe. Lead composer and guitarist, Serra Petale, is from Australia, bassist, Josefine Jonsonn, from a small town in Sweden, drummer Nic Cranshaw, the only English member, and keytar player and model, Agustina Ruiz, from Uruguay. The amalgam of nationalities brings with it a fruitful combination of cultures and influences that produce a truly unique sound. As well as Cumbia, their music takes notes from Turkish psych rock, disco, funk, surf-rock, and even some elements of Afro-pop.
Though entirely instrumental, there are some memorable and catchy moments on the record, from the earworm guitar lines in the opening track, ‘The Link Is About to Die‘ and ‘Pista (Fresh Start)‘. There are some good builds and the songs are structured superbly. The final track, ‘Lindsay Goes to Mykonos‘ features an explosion of guitars and drums near the end, providing a great, energetic closer to the record, as well as some fun backing vocals. Another favourite was ‘Las Panteras‘ which features another quality build some more stellar guitar work as well as some cool synth work and steady drum groove. The song ‘Tropico‘ was also a stand-out with some more catchy guitar and bass work.
This record has some fantastic, captivating performances, however some of the tracks did feel a little similar, however they really do capture a feeling and work extremely well together. Don’t go in expecting an emotional voyage, because you won’t find one. Instead, I’d recommend this album to anyone looking for a summery, laid-back LP to soundtrack a good time.