Vallejo

Brothers Brew (VMG)

Texas Platters

Vallejo

Brothers Brew (VMG)

Formulaic: bad word in music. Hit upon a formula – similar, but without the bad connotation. Match either with "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," and you've got a bona fide success story. So remains the Vallejo brothers' seamless discography. While the locals' sixth studio release isn't as powerhouse as the fifth, 2008's Thicker Than Water, true to its title, Brothers Brew serves up an even smoother blend of exuberant Latin rock. "Take Me Away," with its Stonesy hitch, exhibits the trademark musical and thematic uplift of the three siblings' local quintet – think Santana without the guitar serpent – and whereas rejoinder "Better Days" succumbs to pat anthemics along with closer "Nothing to Lose," A.J., Omar, and Alejandro Vallejo otherwise make it look and sound simple. Consider "The Money," a meaty, classic rock answer to Kanye West's "Gold Digger," and the back-to-back swagger ("Gone") and sway (affecting ballad "With Everyday") that follow it pinpoint punctuation. Foolproof formula.

***.5

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