De Bichos y Flores

Much like its Argentine neighbors Bersuit, Uruguayan rocker La Vela Puerca delights in mixing traditional rhythms and instruments with rock elements, adding touches of ska and reggae to the mix.

Much like its Argentine neighbors Bersuit, Uruguayan rocker La Vela Puerca delights in mixing traditional rhythms and instruments with rock elements, adding touches of ska and reggae to the mix. But La Vela's sound also veers a tad into the symphonic with its use of choruses and big orchestration that lend finesse to the ska rhythms. While the sound is not new (La Mosca also does something similar), the execution is tight and full of gusto, accentuated by more in-your-face electric guitar. La Vela also benefits from fine lyrics, many of them socially motivated but hardly preachy. What does get a little tiresome is the repetitive two-beat rhythmic pattern, but there's still enough charm here to keep us listening.—LC