SLUG Magazine December 2004 CD Reviews
by Fat Tom

Ariel Aparicio = Bowie + Liz Phair + the Pretenders


Ariel is here to prove that gay Cubans don’t have to succumb to the stereotype of drag Latin pop nonsense. Instead, he and his live band The Hired Guns concentrate on rocking out with an eclectic mix of styles (funk, salsa, pop, disco, indie rock, reggae, new wave and punk). On this, Aparicio’s third album (his first on self-started label Bully Records), he takes time to thank Paul Westerberg not just in the liner notes but also with an acoustic cover of the Replacements’ classic “Unsatisfied” that shows Paul’s influence on his sound. The album finds Aparicio and the ’Guns concentrating more on their dynamic and snazzy rock-n’-roll sound but sporting a total punk attitude (also thanked in the liner notes are John Doe and Exene of X). This record more than his others emphasizes indie and pop punk with the occasional reggae beat —no salsa music this time around.

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