The brainchild of guitarist, songwriter, and visionary Lorenzo Montero, Cinco Santos came together after a two-year-long search across Los Angeles as the artist sought out the perfect members of the team to create the band’s signature sound. And, with time, Montero found just the men he was looking for, bringing together lead singer Daniel Jimenez, Lorenzo Montero on guitar and vocals, Jesse Stern on bass, Willard Lozano on guitar and shredder, and Emiliano Almeida on drums. With members boasting an eclectic citizenship that ranges from Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, the United States, and Canada, this was a musical collective bound to bring some excitement to the table.
That excitement grew in 2012 when the band opted to dive in and collectively develop original songs rather than seeking out demos from others.
“Sharing in the creative process solidified the band as an artistic entity and yielded our strongest material,” Montero shares. “The next stage of our evolution happened as we experimented with how to fuse our different stylistic elements together, and add electronic beats to give our music a unique groove and very contemporary feel.”
That fusion turned into a beautiful thing and helps to make Duplicidad a truly delightful listen.
The album’s sound draws broadly between borders, finding the multicultural group sample from obvious Latin elements and bridging them with healthy doses of pop, rock, and even electronica, creating a sound that is altogether Cinco Santos. “Candela” gets things off to a fiery start, rich, full guitar chops layered across tightly played percussion and accented perfectly with Jimenez’s pitch perfect vocals while “Azuca y Amor” shines with its bright Latin acoustic guitar and soulful rhythms.
Those same elements color tracks like “Caramelo,” organic percussion bringing extra life, and “Te Cantare Todos Los Dias,” which is solid bridge between the old and the new, traditional sounds leading into more contemporary pop flair. “Te Quiero Aqui” makes the transition complete as Cinco Santos deliver a stirring pop ballad with vibrant energy and musicianship but it’s the title track, “Duplicidad,” that really surprises. It’s a jam that finds the band infusing their roots alongside some powerful rock notes, chunky riffing guitars alongside acoustic fills that form a killer sound while Jimenez continues to deliver vocally. And the sheer energy of “No Me Digas,” complete with a raging string solo, really highlights the band’s great musicianship, allowing all the parts to shine.
There’s only one track that really doesn’t register strongly here, and that is “Loco.” It’s hampered by a musical soundscape that is one of the more uninteresting, although still masterfully played, as well as a chorus that is a bit too repetitive to really have any staying power. But its one small hiccup on what is otherwise an impressive output of spirit and sound.
Cinco Santos’ debut, Duplicidad, is truly an album that escapes borders and stereotypes, tapping into the simple emotion that music is. As tight knit a musical collective that you’ll find, this record showcases them at their best, delivering a compelling mix of traditional and modern rhythms, resulting in an album that will find you coming back for more.