Sol D' Menta
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Sol D' Menta

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Energetic music and vibrant flavor defines the career of these four puertorricans, known as Sol d' Menta, who have set the bases of the Rock scene in the island since their appearance in 1994.
Los Soles, as their fans commonly know them, is composed by Jey in the bass, Tito guitars, Che drums and Omar, their dynamic singer.
Known as one of the main exponents of "puertorrican rock", Sol d'Menta has made extraordinary presentations in important squares and events in their native land as well as in several tours throughout the United States and Mexico, outstanding presentations have gained the respect of their fans in Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, II Festival Mundial de Rock Latino in San Juan, in Hard Rock Café in México City and Feria de Tijuana. Throughout their career they have share the stage with Latin rock stars such as Miguel Mateos, Café Tacvba, Fabulosos Cadillacs, Fobia, Maldita Vecindad, Fito Páez, El Tri, Aterciopelados, the german super rock band SCORPIONS and USA favorites INCUBUS among others.
- All Music Guide


The first Puerto Rican Latin Rock band signed by a major record label, Sol D'Menta, returns with their follow-up to their 1996 self-title debut album. Produced by John Avila (Oingo Boingo, Reel Big Fish, Voodoo Glow Skulls) and recorded by John Erwig Jr. (311, Sugar Ray) El Concepto features a very calibrated band that knows how to handle the radical changes of salsa, ska, hip-hop and soca with funk and hardcore, all of which appear on the record.

The production opens up with "El Concepto," a daring exchange of funk and ska, that builds up in intensity, turning into malevolent hardcore music. This is followed by "Hay Que Pensar," a great tune for a suspense movie, where the tension created by the Metallica-styled guitar riffs and other spooky sounds serve as the intro that resolves to a macabre hardcore assault.

The touching ballad "Padre" (a posthumous tribute to the bassist/songwriter's father) will start any brain to ponder about the experience of losing a relative. However, the exquisite acoustic arrangements provided by the violin, acoustic guitar and upright bass make its diversity from the rest of the power tracks in the album is too radical. This song should have been left off the album altogether. Also, to pick "No Voy en Tren" (a cover of Charlie Garcia's song) as the first single seems correct because of its commercial potential, but this kind of Latin Pop/Rock does not portray the band's musical strength.

Worth mentioning is the robust stir of funk and industrial with a muscular afro-descarga break, and some cool turntable scratches, in "Pedro Callejero," and the towering swap of metal, hip-hop and industrial/soca in "La Calle." Other highlights included the infectious western/polka/punk in "El Arte de Olvidar," and the fresh funk/ska with a lelolai bridge in "Cerro Maravilla." The latest presents a true story about the trials related to the killing of two men by the Puerto Rican police, event that served as the plot for the movie Show of Force.

A sophomore album is a very nerve-wracking project if the first one enjoyed some success. After selling 30,000 copies of their debut album, Sol D'Menta is not frightened by the challenge. El Concepto is definitely a progress in their career, exhibiting maturity as musicians and confidence as songwriters. Sol D'Menta's trademark badge of funk and hardcore, fused with abrupt stamina changes of ska, hip-hop, salsa and soca, makes of El Concepto a vigorous manifestation of what has been accomplished in the Latin rock genre. PolyGram Records, 825 Eighth Avenue, 24th Floor, New York, NY 10019
--Randy Luna
- Randy Luna


Discography

CICLOS
August 29, 2006

VIVOS
May 24, 2002

INSOMNIO
July 13, 2001

TOCANDO MADERA
April 25, 2000

EL CONCEPTO
June 16, 1998

SOL D' MENTA
June 18, 1996

Photos

Bio

Los Soles, as their fans affectionately call them, is composed of Erick “Jey” Seda on bass, Miguel “Tito” Rodríguez on guitar, Ernesto José “Che” Rodríguez on drums, and dynamic vocalist Omar Hernández—a mighty alliance of musical integrity and creativity reminiscent of older performers.

Sol d’ Menta was the first Puerto Rican rock band to sign with a multinational record label (Polygram). The band catapulted into the music scene with their highly-anticipated first album, “Sol d’ Menta,” which came to life in 1996 and gave rise to the band’s relationship with Polygram Latino. The album sold more than 35,000 copies in Puerto Rico and the U.S., and produced the chart-topping singles "El Inconforme" and "Cachetera."

Their vigorous sophomore album, “El Concepto,” was produced in Los Angeles’ NRG Studios, home of successful productions from the likes of Korn, No Doubt, 311, White Zombie and Fugees, among others. In this project, "Los Soles" worked alongside John Ewing Jr., who worked for 311 and Sugar Ray, and John Avila, former band member and producer of the legendary Oingo Boingo. The album became an instant success, turning out the smash hit "No Voy en Tren," a terrific version of Charlie Garcia's classic song.

In 1999, Sold d’ Menta recorded an independent live album at The Hard Rock Café in San Juan. "Tocando Madera" is an intoxicating acoustic performance of their greatest hits and three additional songs. They were rewarded in 2000 with two nominations for Rock Group and Album of the Year in "Premios Tu Música."

Then came “Insomnio,” a heady production recorded at Bandon's Paradise in Los Angeles. Its first single, "Calle Luna, Calle Sol," a remake of the salsa classic performed by Willie Colón and Héctor Lavoe, instantly became one of the Sol d’ Menta’s most recognizable and beloved pieces.

“Vivos” was their fifth album, recorded live during the band’s 2002 concert at the Tito Puente Amphitheater in San Juan. Along with some of Sol d’ Menta’s best original work, the project included powerful collaborative performances with Circo, Cultura Profética, Fiel a la Vega, Los Goyos, Millo Torres, Vialterna, and Vivanativa.

In 2003, Sol d’ Menta received an award for Best Independent Band from the prestigious American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). And between recordings and familial duties, Sol d' Menta has put on extraordinary performances throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico, which have garnered them both respect and international acclaim. They have shared the stage with stars such as Miguel Mateos, Café Tacvba, Fabulosos Cadillacs, Fobia, Maldita Vecindad, Fito Páez, Aterciopelados, Scorpions, Incubus and others, edging their way into a prominent spot among the music industry’s elite.

In 2005, Sol D' Menta began work on their sixth collaboration, cementing their place as a mature ensemble who always keep fresh and exciting ideas up their sleeves.

"Could you be loved" an all-time classic from reggae mastermind Bob Marley is the first single of the new album CICLOS released on August 29, 2006 worldwide. CYBL has entered in high positions in online and viral radio programming. It was become the most added track on Online Radio this summer. "De Vuelta en Ocean Park" is slowly climbing as a favorite in Latin radio stations.

Call it Rock, Latin Rock, or "funkadelicpsychomenta," Sol D' Menta's music maintains the smooth revelation and unpredictable beats that have brought them international praise and admiration.