They may sound Spanish or Mexican in their moniker, but El Misti is a band from Cheshire/Liverpool, who just happened to meet ‘in a humid Rio de Janeiro hostel’ back in 2010. A decade on, they’ve finally delivered their debut album. Talk about a landmark!
They’re pitched as standing alongside Black Peaks, Arctic Monkeys and Kings Of Leon, and the album’s ten songs are contemplative, mature. They mine a seam of blues and country, and without any overt twist. ‘Woman, let me be / you’ll be the death of me’, they sing on ‘Woman, Let me Be’, and it could be a line from any song from the last 70 years.
‘Take me to the Woods’ is a sort off jaunty, mid-tempo, country-flavoured rendition of bouncy indie. There are some nice guitar breaks – and it’s no criticism to say that they’re a bit Mark Knopfler in places, and the 7-minute centrepiece, ‘Devil Won’t Dance’ is a toe-tapping, slow-burning corker.
But for the most part, they sounds to me like The Eagles. And that’s ok: the territory is vast, the audience potential massive, and to level criticisms of mediocrity would be to miss the immense appeal. And with Sons of Bill on hiatus, this looks like El Misti’s time.