New York-based Pistolera writes great Mexamerican songs, and it has at least two other aces up its sleeve besides that: one, the accordion of Maria Elena, which is crisp as iced lettuce, and, two, the singing of Sandra Velasquez, who has a distinctive voice, not so much, “I am woman hear me roar,” as, “I am woman and I’m going to express myself with a lot of aural clarity.” This album is not quite like their last one, the excellent En Este Camino. It has been divided in half. Velasquez says she thinks of the two halves as an A side and a B side. “The A side places us in thoughtful solitude in a vast desert, where dreams are formed. The B side then transports us to the hustle and bustle of the New York city streetscape.” Last time I was in a vast desert I nearly stepped on a rattlesnake and got a cholla bobble jammed two inches in my leg, so this vision strikes me as a bit of a pastoral romance but hey ho. Essentially it means that the album is slow up to track six and then fast all the way to the end, as if the band has snapped out of a trance. Fast is their natural speed. The attitude in “Escucha” is worth more than dreams.
// Notes from the Road
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