This is a powerful, hard-edged record by a truly committed artist. Fernando Viciconte, hailing from a Mexican barrio in Southern California (Pacoima), has seen both the bright and dark side of life, and he communicates it with fantastic clarity on his debut album. His influences range from the Sir Douglas Quintet, Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, Ritchie Valens, and surprisingly, punk music. His songs and delivery are frighteningly real and powerful, and this may be the most committed artist to come down the line since the Clash. The record has a great retro vibe, and part of that is due to producer/multi-instrumentalist Luther Russell, a fine artist in his own right. Echoes of mid-'60s punk/psych abound: drums miked close and in your face, beautifully cheesy organ (primarily used as a rhythm instrument), and furiously strummed electric guitar. All of these elements frame Fernando's songs with a directness that recalls John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band. A brilliant debut by an artist who arrives as a veteran.