At the same time the British invasion was happening in America in the 1960s, a similar movement was happening in Uruguay when bands like Los Shakers and Los Mockers began copying the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and gained popularity all over South America, especially in Argentina.
Now, almost fifty years on since the “Uruguayan invasion” a new band has taken up the torch of producing great Latin American rock n’ roll. That band is The Royal Thieves.The Royal Thieves are made up of members, two of which are brothers, from both Uruguay and Brazil. While recording their 2014 EP Slippery Sweet Victory, The Royal Thieves applied the same ethic that they do for their live shows and no member has a specific instrument that they stick to.
Musically, The Royal Thieves draws inspiration from ‘60s British invasion era groups such as the Zombies, the Kinks and the Rolling Stones, as well as Flamenco and Surf Music and more contemporary bands like Arcade Fire. While listening to the EP, you’ll notice that the lyrics of their songs are in English, which results in them having unusual hybrid British-Uruguayan accents, similar to the bands of the Uruguayan invasion.
This record is quite a pleasing listen. The EP features a cornucopia of unusual instruments such as an accordion, organ and a charango, a guitar like instrument unique to South America. “Tomahawk” opens the EP with a bright, chime-y harmonica and has a backbeat similar to the Electric Prunes’ “I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night.” The title track and “As You Sow, So Shall You Reap” feature some hypnotic guitar leads that will allow any music fan to turn off, tune in and drop out.
Sweet Slippery Victory sounds like it’s over in a flash. Part if this is because there seems to be no transition between each song on the record, making the three-track EP blend together into one Latin American psychedelic odyssey.
Let’s hope for our sake that this isn’t the last we shall hear from The Royal Thieves and that they’ll release a full length album at some point in the near future.
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