Patricia Vonne has mixed flamenco into her Latin-rock style, but Del Castillo goes beyond what others have done: blazing acoustic-guitar runs show up in almost every song, from flat-out rockers to ballads to intense Afro-Caribbean jams. Del Castillo doesn't go deeply into the vocabulary of flamenco, with its swirl of Gypsy, Jewish, and Islamic layers. Instead, flamenco serves as a pathway between rock guitar and Latin roots.
This six-person Austin band is the creation of brothers Rick and Mark del Castillo, who also have a Robert Rodriguez connection: the band provided music for several of his films and also for Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Vol. 2. The brothers have a worthy counterpart in Rick "The Rev" Holeman, a conservatory-trained percussionist with a whole battery of mostly Caribbean instruments. With Afro-Caribbean rhythms playing off the del Castillo brothers' twin guitars and the gritty yet passionate vocals of Alex "El Lobo" Ruiz, things really get cooking on the longer numbers on the band's three albums. Live, the group is supposed to be better still. A grainy YouTube video shot on someone's phone at a San Antonio restaurant suggests that's true.