Essential New Music: Los Lobos’ “Gates Of Gold”


Established in 1973, Los Lobos is an American institution, not just another band from East Los Angeles. Boasting singers who write real songs and savvy multi-instrumentalists, the original group has managed to stick together to create an amazing body of work. Part of being a classic band is making classic albums, which Los Lobos has done quite consistently. Gates Of Gold is its first album of new material in five years, and a welcome addition to its expansive discography. With plenty of revved-up guitars and some Latin rock, as well as soulful balladry, Los Lobos can be counted on to generate a timeless formula that transcends strict categorization. While singer/guitarists Cesar Rojas and David Hidalgo do the heavy lifting, this is a team effort all the way, with Steve Berlin, Conrad Lozano and Louie Pérez adding a range of sonic backdrops including hard blues, acoustic introspection, greasy garage spunk and progressive-minded studio rock.

—Mitch Myers