Review: Locobeach – Psychedelic Disco Cumbia

Too often we see bands come up with the strangest titles to their albums. Titles that make one believe they’ll be good, titles that stoke the imagination, but ultimately fail to deliver, such as Kill ‘Em All, Taylor Swift, or Lemonade. New York-based Locobeach, however, has opted to take a much more direct approach on their debut album, aptly titled Psychedelic Disco Cumbia.

While I’ll refrain from elaborating on the term “Psychedelic” or “Disco”, for those not familiar with “Cumbia”, it is a folk/dance South American/culturally-fusing genre that is to-the-bone infections. José Luis Pardo (guitar/vocals), Neil Ochoa (percussion/electronics), Joshua Camp (accordion/keys/vocals), Edward Marshall (bass), and Fernando Valladares (drums) took the three styles, fused them together, and in the on-the-nose title have composed a ten-track rhythmic piece of worldly culture that is utterly consumable and straight-up infectious.

It is far from unheard of to blend genres, cultures, and styles, after all most music is a product of its influences. What’s, arguably, the most impressive about Psychedelic Disco Cumbia, in a long list of successes, is the ability so seamlessly reach into each facet of their sound all at once as if to reach out through the chaos of today’s music and lend a welcoming hand to fans of all walks. “Javelin” quite possibly embodies this best. Grinding guitar bleeds into rhythmic ambiance, blending with atmospheric undertones, all while getting your hips shaking. What works so well for Locobeach is the ability to blend not just styles and sounds, but they meld decades with unabridged ease. The ensuing synthesis is a dichotomy of vintage and new all at the same time. The result is fresh and purely addictive.

Locobeach introduces themselves to the world on-point in title, but not as easy to pin down in sound. The warmth and comfort will lead you to believe they’ve been here the whole time. The long-term sustainability is coming back to this record regularly for both the dance and the psych roots. Locobeach made us believe Psychedelic Disco Cumbia would be a quality debut. Locobeach did not let us down.

Greg is a co-founder and regular contributor of Nanobot Rock.

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