Los Bitchos 2022
Photo: Tom Mitchell / Courtesy of Motormouth Media

Los Bitchos Are Ready to ‘Let the Festivities Begin’!

Los Bitchos brings together four women from different countries who create instrumental rock with a global vibe on Let the Festivities Begin!

Let the Festivities Begin!
Los Bitchos
City Slang
4 February 2022

Don Wilson, a founding member of the Ventures, died in January. Wilson’s passing is a reminder that there has always been a place in the rock ‘n’ roll world for instrumental bands. While such groups don’t necessarily race up the pop charts these days, they’re still out there, often raising quite a non-vocal racket. Los Bitchos have entered the fray with their debut album, the appropriately titled Let the Festivities Begin! While the Ventures were noted for advising folks to “Walk, Don’t Run”, fans of instrumental rock should run, don’t walk, to hear this album. 

Based in London, Los Bitchos brings together women from four different countries: Serra Petale (guitar/Australia), Agustina Ruiz (keytar/Uruguay), Josefine Jonsson (bass/Sweden), and Nic Crawshaw (drums/England). The group describe their sound as “a retro-futuristic blend of Peruvian chica, Argentine cumbia, Turkish psych, and surf guitars”. That sounds about right, as the album pulses with a global vibe that never settles on just one style at a time.

After recording their first single, “Pista (Great Start)” in 2019, Los Bitchos made Let the Festivities Begin! in early 2020. Like most other things happening in early 2020, the album’s release was postponed. In the interim, Los Bitchos kept busy, releasing videos, producing their Planet Bitchos internet radio show, recording a live performance for KEXP radio that became a YouTube hit, and generally getting on with their lives. Finally, though, it’s time to Let the Festivities Begin! This might be the party the world could use right now. 

The opening track, “The Link Is About to Die”, sets things up nicely. Percolating percussion leads to both lead and rhythmic guitar that conjure a surfy vibe with a strong dash of exotica. Meanwhile, subtle keyboards – courtesy of a keytar if credits are to be believed — add a further hint of atmosphere.

Once you’ve heard “The Link Is About to Die”, you know what to expect for the rest of Let the Festivities Begin! This knowledge doesn’t detract from the rest of the album. Even though Los BItchos have an unmistakable sound, they do an excellent job of bringing a variety of styles to the mix. “Las Panteras”, for example, has a bit of a disco feel, while “Tripping at a Party” and “Try the Circle!” rock a little harder. 

There are moments where it feels like Los Bitchos could go prog-rock and follow a musical idea for another ten minutes, but they always manage to pull back and stick to pop song lengths for their tunes. The longest track on Let the Festivities Begin! is just under four minutes long, but the band makes each second of every song count. Los Bitchos bring the festivities to a satisfying close with the mysterious “Lindsay Goes to Mykonos”, inspired by a short-lived Lindsay Lohan reality show. But hopefully, for Los Bitchos and the rest of us, the party has just begun. 

RATING 7 / 10
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