Glaswegian Dante Gizzi, formerly of Gun, is the mastermind behind El Presidente. Of writing songs for this eponymous album, he says, "the only rule was that there were no rules. I had no single musical style in mind and I didn't want one." This becomes highly evident on first listen of the record, which is an eclectic mix of styles ranging from straightforward rock to slices electro funk and disco beats'
In these frost tinged dark days of winter, last single "Without You" introduces proceedings like a burst of sunshine. The riff and melody are as infectious as the common cold, and Gizzi sings in a style not too far removed from the Axl Rose squawk. "100 Mph" is of a similar optimistic mood and despite its title features a very chilled-out riff, while "Count On Me" is equally uplifting, with the sort of vibe that should see arm swaying when performed to a live audience. Beautiful harmonies between Gizzi and keyboardist Laura Marks make "If You Say You Love Me" a brilliant highlight of the record, while the backing vocals add to a chilled atmosphere and drum break being a nice touch.
El Presidente have already been compared to Scissor Sisters, and it's not difficult to see why when hearing "Turn This Thing Around", which has a disco beat and quirky riff. It's one of the few moments that the band doesn't get it right though, as it quickly becomes repetitive. Driven by a monstrous bass, "Rocket" heads in the same direction, has a catchy chorus… and is about a drug binge, which isn't something you're likely to find SS writing about. The conclusion to the record is in contrast to much of the rest, taking on much darker tones, but the results are still excellent. The electro-funk of "Honey" is powerful and epic, while "Come On Now" (inspired by the murder of Jill Dando) is haunting, and shows the band can successfully produce music of gloomier tones. It all adds up to a fantastic album that simply cannot be categorised generically – so let's just say it's simply wonderful.
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