Natural and rhythmic, Inland Empire’s Kiki Diágo explore these qualities on their self-titled 4 track EP, out on tape via Lolipop Records. Since their first official single “Regrets,” released last year, the quality of sound and tone within the band has become sharper and more genuine, straying away from certain generic patterns and embracing their influences and environment.
Gael Jacobo (guitar, vocals), Danny Zapata (guitar), Andrew Plascencia (bass), Ismael Trujillo (keys), and Bryan Palms (drums) stick to their “groove rock” sound, heard on “Saturn,” as well as a lo-fi and surf-rock sound heard on “Sangré Azul,” but broaden their appeal by giving listeners a little more to appreciate with the rest of the EP and overall tone.
Placing Kiki Diágo in the spotlight is their opening track “Pa Tí” which becomes an instant favorite for its upbeat and romantic behavior. The track possesses a strong rhythm section, featuring Eddie Valencia on congas, while tailoring their “groove” to this dreamy love song. The whimsical nature of vocals and amorous appeal comes from the articulation and delivery of having the track in Spanish, justifying the passionate appeal of the language even through the simplest of words.
Interesting enough,the EP features an instrumental track, “Waves (late night)” which acts as a versatile track to showcase Kiki Diágo’s abilities. Being a slower tempo, mood setter, “Waves” is a dreamy pause during the hectic noise of life. Persistent synths melt into the effects and chords of the guitar as the “wahs” of the pedal sends the track off in this slow and steady direction. Perfectly fitting the title, the assortment of sounds sum up a late night or a memorable act of bliss.
While instrumental tracks leave all to the listener’s imagination and more so on the emotional reaction of chords, Kiki Diágo’s display through “Waves” showcases this ability among their clean transitions, strong structure, and notable changes within the track that avoids a long, drawn out “jam” session.
While self-titled EP’s are the hardest statements to “write,” acting as an official first impression, Kiki Diágo is worth the listen and enjoyable as they grow within their own sound.
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