GONZALES - Checkmate

Gonzales - Checkmate

10 songs
29:07 minutes
***** ***
Chorus Of One


Even though the name sounds Spanish, Gonzales are an Italian rock band founded in 2004. Their second album Checkmate was released in their home country in 2008. A year later the rest of the world gets to enjoy it too.

Checkmate is an entertaining affair. The band plays dirty pig rock where you can literally smell the sweat. Locating themselves stylistically somewhere between Social Distortion and Motörhead, Gonzales even offer a cover version of Ring Of Fire. While the original has been popularised by Johnny Cash, the song has also been covered by Mike Ness & Co. years back. The song title Gö Tö Hell (could as well have written “Höll”) shows quite clearly that this is a tribute to Lemmy’s cult band. At times Gonzales don’t hesitate to sound more punk. Heaven Gone Wrong and Fiesta show a definite Misfits influence. The Italians are unafraid to torture their guitars over the rumbling bass, with the somewhat spent vocals fitting perfectly into the mix.

The fun stops already after a short half hour. Checkmate is a fun experience that entertains from beginning to end, but you can’t accuse Gonzales of even trying to be innovative.

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