Los Dominados – PET HEAD

Los Dominados shows no restrictions on their second album, PET HEAD, combining all sorts of rock genres to produce a creative mix of tracks. Though fueled with inspired lyrics through emotive vocals and new waves of instrumentality, PET HEAD bellows the relaxed attitude of Los Dominados, with a set of distinctive songs that leave the listener asking, “Are all these songs from the same band?”

The second album takes a different turn from their first, Basura Blanca Y Oro Negro, straying away from their debut’s richer melodies and leaving out unique tunes of harmonica and ukelele from some of Basura’s tracks. Granted, the band members’ time off to travel overseas may have changed their music’s disposition. There are more Spanish-inspired songs, the guitar-riffing is more prone to psychedelia and the lyricism more experimental.

The new addition of a bass player to Los Dominados gives the tracks a fresh sound. The heavily bass-laden song Ronnie was a Rhonda pair serious rock beats to its transsexual plot-line. Outta My Head also has a worthy combination of bass and guitar that complement vocalist Michael Alonso’s burdened tone. Both songs are reminiscent of mid-90s rock, underlining a heavy bass topped with casual punk vocals.

Though supplemented with skilled instrument-playing, some tracks are too clichíƒÆ’í‚©d as lyrics. “I first met you at the dance, dressed in black with all your friends...I can’t get you out of my head” and “Walkin’ in the sand, walkin’ hand in hand” are too standard.

What makes the album special, however, is the Spanish insight in particular tracks, which seems to come from some band members’ experiences. Living up to its name (-  “los dominados’ means –  “the dominated’), the artistic interpretation in songs like Conquistador and Las Embrujadas allow its listeners to experience a Spanish ambience. Dark and suspenseful, the tale-like Conquistador profiles a captor going through his exploration. Its roundabout, slow guitar riffs bring a post-modern Gothic refrain to the track, while the acoustic guitar in Las Embrujadas features a mysterious romance in the album.

Female lead vocalist Helen Cattanach gets the honour, as her emotive tone of voice brings drama and life to her tracks. Even in Viva El Toro in which she repeatedly says, “The bull kept going even with his red-blooded coat,” Helen’s voice just brings the listener right to a trance.

I Surf in High Heels is the band’s version of a guitar ballad. It’s an experimental song, which sums up the entire album with these simple lyrics: “dreamin’ ideals, cheap thrills and spills.”

Though lacking focus in its entirety, PET HEAD is a different direction for Los Dominados. Yes, it’s simple, but the album creates this unusual buzz. Recorded on an eight-track reel to reel, the band’s ethic of “keep it simple IDIOT” is found in PET HEAD, highlighting a dirty garage, pop punk feel to its tracks. Don’t expect any similarity to debut Basura. PET HEAD is what it is.