San Antonio's Hacienda are a combo that mixes many different pop and rock styles to come up with a sound that's soaked in their Texas heritage without sounding stereotypically Texan. Big Red & Barbacoa is their second outing, and lead-off single "I Keep Waiting" reminds me of a cross between The Beach Boys and Scruffy The Cat. Yes, Scruffy The Cat. It's like mid-'60s Beach Boys, but without the kowtowing, "we are not worthy"-ness you usually hear with bands that get compared to SoCal's Niños del Playa. Producer Dan Auerbach (of the Black Keys) brings out the band's rough edges as well as their softer side (not in the pussy way), and what you hear is "South Texas Soul." (Okay, that term comes from the press release, but it's fitting.)
Brothers Abraham, Jamie and Rene Villanueva give Hacienda that Everly Brothers via Los Lobos vocal vibe, though guitarist Dante Schweibel appears to be no slouch, either, just not an hermano of the Villanuevas—at least not by birth. Would it be a cliché to say I hear some Sir Douglas Quintet in here? Yeah, it would. But too bad, because I do. Maybe Doug Sahm and Augie Meyers are these guys' two dads... Well, whatever latino rock cliché you pick, Hacienda has a great sound, equal parts almost everything that made '60s rock good, plus some mojo from their familial culture with probably some good ol' independent college rock thrown in. I mean, I did mention Scruffy The Cat earlier, and besides, if I'm gonna trot out the clichés, I might as well clear the stable.
4/5 (Alive Natural Sound)