• 8.5/10
    LOS DIFUNTOS - S/T - 8.5/10


Nickel And Dime Records
Release date: November 18, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

When looking at Los Difuntos’ CD one can see a foursome of Mohawk Punksters that were mostly spotted in years when Punk was a major thing back in the 70’s. However, these guys are not ordinary Punksters like many others. In Punk, there are the attackers like Bad Religion, NOFX, and Rancid, and there are the sweetie pies like Blink 182 and their peers. You can say that Los Difuntos takes something from both worlds but brings on some vintage elements and stuff of their own.

The group was formed in 2003, in East L.A, by guitarist and vocalist, Christian Torres. Their style of playing is direct Punk music but with various influences that range from other Punk bands through The Clash along with Country , Traditional Soft Rock and vintage music. In 2006, under the label Rancid Records, which is owned by two Rancid members – Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederickson, the band released its first official EP, Born, Raised and Passed Away…. To support this EP they toured with their Rancid friends getting coverage while doing so. This year, the guys introduce their full-length release, which came out only a month ago and is titled like the band’s name.

Los Difuntos recorded this album in L.A under the producing eyes of Michael Rozon, who also handled the mixing for it. The bottom line is that the production turned out quite good and fit for a Punk band. The band’s sound can’t differentiate them from other bands like them, but their unique add-ons serve them well for creating special areas that lift them one level above others. Most of the add-ons are performed by their own simple gear of guitars, bass and drums. They add keyboards in the intro “Rise Of The Deceased” but these are minor.

The band’s material sounds excellent, in most of the album. The major reason it is so good is because it sounds unique and refreshing in a way – and no it’s not because this reviewer reviews Metal most of the time. The various styles demonstrated here are a cool mix that makes Punk more progressive unlike the simple “rhythm-o-round” with merely occasional solo breaks. Still the music is simple but with the additions of various soft and silky melodies along with the feeling of a James Bond movie like “Rise Of The Deceased” and some Western anthems like “Born, Raised and Passed Away” that gallops its way quite nicely, marks a respectable step to make this kind of genre more interesting to listen to. In “Lies In Disguise” there is a slight feeling of Ska Punk with Trombone and Theremin until it unleashes the usual Punk fast rhythms. Also in this song and others like “Now I’m Gone” and the instrumental “Dirge”, there are the cool Clash rhythms of Soft Punky Rock that are THE best of all additions to the album.

Punk music, since its beginning, always attacked the social leaders with angry political lyrics off the scale. Bands like Blink 182 took the lyrics and made something stupid with it to let off some steam along with themes like sex, girls and relationships – very similar to Glam Metal. Los Difuntos are not attacking the establishment; they talk about the ordinary life with themes of misery, broken hearts, the life in East L.A (a favorite obsession for Torres) and people on the way. The song “Lucy” is interesting, it is unknown if the woman who gave birth to sin is literally a song about Torres or about someone else in particular. “Story Of Leon’s Downfall” is as it says on the title – a story about a guy’s rough life that turned upside down. “Now I’m Gone” and “Lies In Disguise” are songs about broken relationships and about the ways to feel better about yourself and that you’ve got other stuff to do than being hurt and miserable. “Poser Josh” is a funny tune about a young golden spoon Punkster, maybe from the band, that the other guys think he is just faking it. “Memories” is a song about hearing some cool tunes that turned your life upside down because you like them a lot and they will not let you go. The final song is about the dangerous, yet fun life, in East L.A.

Christian Torres, as the leader of the band, is a heck of a skilled artist. His role as vocalist is practiced with high ability, for a Punk singer. In some tracks he tries to give more than just the cold, straight line vocals like in “Story Of Leon’s Downfall” , “Shining” and “You Don’t Know Me”. As a writer and a guitarist, he did a good job and with hope he will continue doing so. His rhythms are excellent and diverse and he seems like a talented guitarist.

Los Difuntos presents various good tracks that can easily put them into the same category as the giants of Punk, yet still not all of them are amazing. Here are the tracks that have really made an impression. The second track, “Lucy” , which features Matt Freeman of Rancid, is an impressive number with attacking lyrics , cool riffs and a catchy chorus. “Poser Josh” is just a funny track that won’t let go. It is good that there is something to keep things humorous while listening. “Memories” is another good track that everyone who is writing music can identify with. “Now I’m Gone” and “Lies In Disguise” , the pair, are solid tunes. “Now I’m Gone” tops the other with much better riffs and chorus. “Born, Raised And Passed Away (In East L.A)” is a hard song but it eases the blow with sort of a Western tune as its main riff.

The guys of Los Difuntos can be proud of the outcome. From here they can only go up and if they continue their tours with Rancid, their way to glory will be smooth and safe. You cannot say “Rock On” or “Metal Up Your Ass” to Punksters so just “Get Punked” dudes!


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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