GONZALES: Checkmate: CD

Gonzales are full-tilt, hard-rockin’ Spaniards whose blasting tuneage had me enthralled from start to finish. But a burning question remains: are Gonzales a hard rock band with punk rock influence, or is it the other way around? And while I’m at it, why do so many great European bands make me ask this question? This is rock’n’roll done in a way that Americans oftentimes seem to be incapable of pulling off—all the bark and all the bite, but very little of that pretentious “look at me; I’m a cock-rock star” sensibility. Dark and dirty bars, bad smells, and a hurricane of cheap beer would be the appropriate auditory environment for this band, based on what the record holds. I suspect (and hope) Gonzales would agree. Great friggin’ record.

 –Eric Carlson (Chorus Of One, chorusofonerecords.it)