Tonight: Los Fabulosos Cadillacs Return to LA
After a seven-year hiatus, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs are finally touring again, despite the loss of percussionist Gerardo "Toto" Rotblat, who died of pulmonary edema last year, shortly before rehearsals for the reunion. Their latest CD, La Luz del Ritmo, might seem at first like a tentative return, with only five new songs alongside two covers and six remakes of early classics, but it's supertight and supergrooving, and ultimately emphasizes the Buenos Aires group's ongoing importance in the rock en español (and plain old rock, for that matter) scene. As ever, Vicentico croons over Señor Flavio's supple bass lines on a danceable-but-diverse set of moods, ranging from pop wistfulness ("Nosotros Egoístas" and "Hoy") and sad ska ("Basta de Llamarme Así") to slinky disco-funk ("El Genio del Dub") and spaghetti Western rock grandeur ("El Fin del Amor").
Like many older Latin-rock bands, Los Fabs (who started in 1985) are heavily influenced by Two Tone ska and British new wave. While they're not as politically and musically confrontational as countrymen Todos Tus Muertos or Mexican ska-punks Tijuana No, they still crank out some energetic Spanish-language reinterpretations of the Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go" and Ian Dury's "Wake Up & Make Love With Me." (Falling James)