424: Pan Caliente

Pan Caliente

Allow me to introduce you to a band with the musical talent, drive, and chops of any great rock band out on the global market.

They’re called 424 and hail from the beautiful sub-tropic country of Costa Rica.

There’s nothing super fancy about this band. It’s your straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll quartet configuration: guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. But what they execute with this simplicity reminds us that some of the greatest rock bands are the ones that have figured out how to create something special out of this basic formation.

424 - press photoWhen I first heard their self-titled EP in 2010, I could hear that there was more to them underneath the surface of the heavy rock riffs and pop rock melodies. There were bits and pieces of 90’s alternative rock influences that reminded me of bands like Catherine Wheel and Squeeze that shone through and made me think that, with the right producer, 424 could sound amazing.

Well, after an incessant year of touring all over South America and a vetting process of various producers, they enlisted the production wand of Phil Vinall (Radiohead, Zoé, Placebo), who for some reason has produced a multitude of Latin Rock bands.

He recorded their debut album, “Oro”, which was released in December of 2012 and is a solid record start to finish.

Vinall was able to flush out those subtle influences creating a sound that better represents a band that made it a point to record in a sustainable community, in their own tropical jungles, as opposed to a famous recording studio.

On tracks like “Ánimo” & “L’Archeologo”, their first single and the album closer respectively, they present a delicate and moody sound that is not typically found in Costa Rican rock. With the heavy rock riffs now finely in the background their lamentful lyrics are front and center, accentuated by vocalist, Felipe Pérez and his Sting-like register.

Stream “Animo” below and DOWNLOAD it here.

There is  a dynamic balance on this record that creates earwig ballads like “En la Mañana”, “Los Cuervos” & “Agua Dorada” and maintains its Rock credibility without loosing itself to soulless pop rock. Sí es bueno.

424 is a band still in their infancy, having formed in 2009 on April 24th (now you know where the name came from).

But their potential and musical depth leads me to believe that they will make a big impact in the coming years and makes me excited about the growth of Musica Indie within the Central American region.