Hacienda : Big Red & Barbacoa


Rock-and-f'ing-roll. That’s it. No creative combination of diverse musical styles. No adjectives or words pulled from a thesaurus are required to describe the music Hacienda makes. Starting with a fuzzed-out guitar riff and roof-rattling backbeat, it becomes all too clear just seconds into the opening track, “Who’s Heart Are You Breaking,” from the band’s second album, Big Red & Barbacoa.

This point is reinforced a couple of tracks later, when Hacienda transforms the Everly Brothers' simple love lament “You’re My Girl” into a stuttering rocker sung with a leering, menacing edge. With longtime friend and mentor Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) at the helm as producer, Hacienda eschews over-the-top production and focuses on the simple, straight-ahead basics delivered with deadly precision and backed with harmonies that recall the Beach Boys after a long night of drinking.

This release has an even more ragged, rocking feel than its predecessor, Loud is the Night, due to the influence of Auerbach. Hacienda spent time on the road serving as Auerbach’s band in support of his debut solo album, and the freedom and touch they discovered while playing with the guitarist is naturally translated on Big Red & Barbacoa. Guitarist Dante Schwebel calls the time on the road with Auerbach, “the biggest impact” on this album’s sound.

And what it sounds like is the perfect late-night summer album. One to be played at full volume, with a fridge full of beer, and a house full of friends.

 Big Red & Barbacoa is out now on Alive Records.