Third time’s a charm

Chikita Violenta – Tre3s.

The Skinny : Mexican curious (no me vas a decir).

The Review Proper: Chikita Violenta, a Mexican band band that chose to sing in English and do some breezy Indie, offers a new album, called Tre3s.

Slightly changing from their previous effort (nothing wrong with change, who wants a stale band?), the band teamed up again with producer Dave Newfield, further developing their joint venture. What’s the result?

Well, Tre3s sounds polished, maybe skewing aside some of Chikita Violenta‘s lo-fi sensibilities, but the spirit of the band is still there, caught between the cheeky little pauses when the songs demands them (‘Roni’), the great drumming (all about ‘The Pause’) and the vocal delivery, which sounds sometimes like a hushed whimper, sometimes like a lullaby.

I can’t honestly say this will break any moulds nor will it change the genre in any way, but what I can say it’s that it’s a quite good offering, with enough dreamy atmospheres (possibly producer Dave Newfield’s signature sonics at hand?) to soothe the brunt of the guitar riffs. Kudos to the drummer too, he probably was the one having the whole cardio routine in the studio.

But enough back-handed compliments. This is a fun album. You see, I’ve seen this band before (in 2008, with The National and Broken Social Scene) and although I didn’t hate them, something was lacking. Whatever it was, it seems to be in Tre3s. Maybe it’s because the band sounds like they are enjoying themselves while playing this songs? ‘Tired’, one of the peppier tracks, seems to point towards this. ‘ATPG’, with its minimal approach to lyrics, is also quite fun.

‘The Pause’ is a fantastic song. It’s rocky, then it slows down for some great, playful moments. Like a busy day in Mexico City, there’s frantic moments, there’s slow, introspective moments and then there’s that moment, the one before you fall asleep, with the echo of a vibrato (or is it a tremolo?) waving goodbye to a day ending.

There’s a couple of changes in pace. The experimental (and freaky) ‘The Monster (was last seen approaching the power plant)’ is an entertaining, experimental piece, like a quick rest stop before going to the last four song stretch leading to  Tre3s’ demise.

First, we’ve got ‘Siren’, slightly psychedelic, possibly dreamy, definitely well-paced. The sweeter side of Chikita Violenta is on the house. ‘España’ goes for an rockier approach (love the mini-feedbacks interspersed), with the drumming deserving another round of applause. ‘Supercycle’ is no slouch either, but needs to bring the pace down for the Tre3s’ swansong, ‘My connection’. Again, ‘dreamy’ is the name of the game, with the chorus pedal slightly brought down (but not fully) and with a very sweet arpeggio dominating the last half of the song.

Like I said, didn’t pay too much attention to the band before, but this one’s a real keeper, so I’ll say: han convencido a un hereje.



Chikita Violenta Website. Twitter. Facebook. Spotify. Myspace. Daytrotter session (it’s a free download. Good session).

2 thoughts on “Third time’s a charm

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