January 5th, 2017 | Album reviews

El Perdedor

If you’re looking for good vibes, you’ve come to the right place. El Perdedor is filled with bright riffs, psych-surf grooves, and a loose, unrefined approach exemplified by the line, “It’s alright with me babe / If it’s alright with you” from the opening track “Wasting Time.” That track and “Rabbits” so obviously sound like the Growlers—with their spooky organ and drugged vocal delivery—that fans of Brooks Nielsen and Co. will either love them or despise them. Luckily, Santoros spend most of the album treading less-traveled terrain, like the Modern Lovers-esque nostalgia of the title track and “I’m Crazy,” or—even better—creating their own signature sound with bilingual efforts like “Mi Negrita” and the irresistible “Love You More.” It’s when they bring they bring this piece of themselves forward that they’re the most successful, and feel the most credible. This is music you can dance to and drink to: fun, laid-back, and totally inoffensive. (The giggles and Cheech & Chong-sized smoke cloud you can hear floating around a shout of “Fuck that, no more weed!” at the beginning of “Love You More” tells you everything you need to know.) “We’ll stay up all night / Drinking and singing silly songs,” they sing over the sunny 60s pop of “It’s You,” and if you throw this album on, my guess is that’s exactly what you’ll be doing.

— Madison Desler