The Mexican quintet Kinky is best known for its unstoppable, Battle of the Bands-winning live shows. Atlas, the follow-up to its self-titled dance-rock debut, continues to reveal the difficulty the band has in capturing on their albums the energy of their live shows. Kinky used electronica to bring rock en Espanol to a new audience, but its lack of advancement in either genre made the otherwise enjoyable songs forgettable. The more rock-laced sound (which was clearly influenced by the detached pop of tour-mates Cake, whose lead singer, John McCrea, appears here on “The Headphonist”) on Atlas is a slight step up, the band is still far away from the breakthrough record of which they are clearly capable.
Perhaps the most glaring problem: the attempts of lead singer Gilberto Cerezo to write lyrics in English show the band’s limitations with the language. The album’s best songs are almost totally in Spanish. But strong pop-rock melodies and some solid compositions, particularly “El Presidente” and “Semillas De Menta,” prevent the album from descending into mediocrity.