PR Has a Posse
Favorite lyrics: “No quiero cambiar!”
The self-titled debut album from Puerto Rico’s Los Vigilantes doesn’t do them any kind of justice. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a completely vital piece of garage punk en Español. But you do not know what you are dealing with until you’ve seen the San Juan quartet live. I’m talking about Carbonas/Oblivians levels of sonic annihilation.
A salient piece of biographical information here is that their drummer Rafa has spent most of his musical career in hardcore bands. But it also helps to know that guitarist Jorge Mundo played lead guitar for fellow PR garage punks Davila 666 on their first tour of Europe and their second (and rockingest) album Tan Bajo.
Some time after you’ve seen them play, when you are asking yourself what happened and if it was real, pick up the album, preferably on vinyl, and the true face of the band will be revealed. Tumbled into their snarling organ-laced swing is a touch of rockabilly, a whisper of surf, and some sweet, sweet doo-wop meant for slicking back your hair and cruising around for the kind of action you know you’ll have to explain to someone later. So, like, they have a sensitive side, you know?
Few bands today are as burly and yet shamelessly cornball in their songwriting as Los Vigilantes. On “Ven Vamos” they’re a bit of both: