Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Monte Negro Ready To Take Center Stage

by Lori King

Monte Negro is one of those unique bands that you can’t categorize. Their music is infused with an aggressive blend of rock, world fusion, a smattering of punk, and Latin Rock. This band has been around for ten years, but they haven’t had the exposure to get them into the big leagues. Until now. The band was featured at Austin’s SXSW and also toured Puerto Rico last year and opened for none other than Gwen Stefani in San Juan. Now, with their new EP “Cicatrix”, they should finally get the recognition they deserve. Apparently they're in talks with a few major labels so keep your fingers crossed.

The band is anchored by Mexican-American brothers Kinski and Rodax Gallo. Other members included Chinese/Japanese-American guitarist Jason Li Shing, and drummer Xavier Lopez. If you listen closely, you’ll hear everything from a harp to a Japanese koto in their musical landscape. Their song “Give Me Love” deftly mixes shades of roots reggae with Dick Dale-esque surf guitar. I would dearly love to see this band perform at the Bend Amphitheatre before they get really big. Check out their web site for tour dates. They're playing at Portland's East End on September 1st.

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