This band sounds like a contemporary version of the tripped out mid-60s musings of the Zombies, only after having been married to the distinctive tribal rhythms of early Santana. Each musician in Dios Malos' line-up plays a distinctive role in elevating the band into the cosmos; keyboardist Jimmy Cabeza DeVaca in particular accentuates the group's acid-tinged sensibilities. Meanwhile, drummer Jackie Monzon is entertaining and seriously gets into his craft. At times it is hard to distinguish him between parallels to the "Animal" character from The Muppet Show, which is innocent enough, or the more intense comparison to a pre-meltdown performance from Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett. Perhaps it would just be wiser to christen him Dios' very own Keith Moon. And then there are lead singers and guitarists Kevin and Joel Morales, whose ear-piercing vocals provide soothing retribution to the ascending musical orgasm which nearly drowns out their harmonizing. The band's loose, psychedelic arrangements are befitting to the overall feel of their set, which bounces back and forth between acoustic, sunny Beach Boys harmonies to the more longing, heartsick emotion of Thom Yorke and Radiohead. Add all this to the fact that each song flows seamlessly into the next, and you have one enigmatic musical vision. Trippy, indeed.
Hawthorne, CA's Dios consists of guitarists/vocalists Kevin and Joel Morales, bassist John Paul Caballero, keyboardist Jimmy Cabeza DeVaca, and drummer Jackie Monzon. The band hails from the same town that spawned the Beach Boys, Emitt Rhodes, and Black Flag, and the former two artists' trippy wistfulness, and the latter band's D.I.Y. aesthetic all influence Dios' approach. The group formed in 2002 and began recording in Caballero's basement, issuing the Arboles EP in late 2003 on Dim Mak. Meanwhile, the group also continued to play live, appearing on bills with bands including Pinback, the New Amsterdams, and the Polyphonic Spree. Dios was also tipped as one of NME's 50 bands to watch in 2004, shortly before their self-titled full-length debut was released by Star Time Records. In summer 2004, guitarist Ronnie James Dio served Dios with a cease and desist order, citing potential confusion over his own outfit's name Dio and the younger group's moniker. In response, Dios changed their name to Dios Malos.