Rodrigo Y Gabriela - 9 Dead Alive

You can click the button at the top right corner to listen to music from this album while you read the review.


  • May 5th, 2014
  • by Russ Bashaw
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Impressive is the first word that comes to mind when I think of the acoustic duo of Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero.Originating in Mexico City, Rodrigo and Gabriela originally played heavy metal but were ultimately stymied by the lack of a music scene and relocated to Ireland. A transition to acoustic instruments took place and the two talented guitar players soon found themselves on the European radar. Heavy metal influences abound in their post-flamenco style and their combination of speed, technique, percussive guitar, and rythmic duality consummate into some of the most visually immersive and aurally pleasing guitar work I've ever come across. Now on their fifth album, 9 Dead Alive explores a myriad of influences that only serve to further cement the duo's place in bridging multiple genres through the use of two Yamaha guitars.

The album opens with the fantastic "The Soundmaker," a tribute to Spanish guitar maker Antonio de Torress Jurado. Rodrigo's meticulous use of a guitar pick leads the way and is balanced by Gabriela's rythmic percussive guitar skills. The track is one of their strongest and should remain an improvisational show stopper in their live set's for years to come. "Torito" is another upbeat aggressive track that features some high note solos. "Sunday Neurosis" is the most surprising of the bunch as it offers vocals - not from the guitarists but sampled excerpts from the likes of Richard Dawkins, Sadh Guru, and Ramdass. The three, a prominent atheist, spiritual guru, and Indian yogi are well known throughout the world and the samples are layered in such a way the track has a very rhetorical psychedelic layer. The song ends with the taking off of an air plane and serves as a great segue into the journey of the mind the music can evoke.

Rythmic and complex acoustic work.

Great music is truly emotive and 9 Dead Alive offers it in bunches. Here are nine fantastic tracks that serve as relaxing acoustic pieces at first listen and slowly morph into absorbing history lessons for those eager to learn.

Total Score: 9.1

Editors' Choice

Russ Bashaw

Founder, Owner

Russ Bashaw founded AudioHammock in the summer of 2013 and continues to be an active contributor and editor. In addition to writing the occasional review Russ is also one of the hosts of the AudioHammock Podcast. Follow Russ on Instagram @russba1 or email him at russ@audiohammock.com.

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