There is a form of commercial Latin Rock that has evolved to a very predictable and very marketable format. This is eventually true for every style of popular music. The “safe” Latino Rock is identifiable in every country from Mexico to Argentina, and all those in between. And as with other musical styles, there will always be musicians who refuse to conform. El Sol Caracol appears to be one of these nonconformists. There first release, Planeta Sol, is a refreshing collage of punta, ska and reggae (especially the bass and percussion), mixed with modern rock and Latin folk music. The result is a unique collage of sounds that seems to give tribute to the past while looking to the future at the same time.
The twelve song CD was recorded at Tarantula Studios in San Pedro Sula, Hunduras, for the fledgling Costa Norte label. The quartet is made up of Rafa Castro, handling percussion, Jose’ Cerrato on lead guitar and Alfredo Poujol on a variety of keyboards. Jose Ines Guerrer is the singer, songwriter and bassist. On this CD, he also contributes some cello parts, acoustic guitar and piano. There are also some background vocals and trombone passages but Guerrer is obviously the driving force behind El Sol Caracol. The songs reflect a variety of musical influences, from the Carlos Santana-esque guitar work on a few of the songs, to drums at times reminiscent of the band Fabulosos Cadilax.
|Max Urso, Founder Costa Norte Records|
The album kicks right off with Un Dia Volvera’ (One Day You Will Return) with a strong reggae rhythm section. It is a very danceable tune, one that begs for radio airplay. And it definitely sets the pace for the entire disc. The second song, El Compa (The Companion) is another up-tempo song that even includes some slick rap. This song was filmed for a video, which is included in the disc. The third song, Milonga, is the first of only three ballads on the entire album. Gigante Tres Pies (The Giant With Three Feet) and Una Flor de Domingo (A Sunday Flower) reflect he playfulness of this Honduran band, who, for forty-five minutes, present a package of pure energy. On Planeta Sol, their premier CD, El Sol Caracol performs like seasoned vets.
The production of the CD is complete with vivid artwork and a lyric booklet. A percentage of the proceeds are donated by the band to Christian Aid, a foundation to help needy children in Honduras. In Guanacaste, Planeta Sol is available excusively at Jaime Peligro in Tamarindo. All comments concerning this article are gladly welcomed.