Rising out of one of the traditional hubs for United States hard rock and metal, Los Angeles, New Evil is a four piece boasting a sizable “cult” following for a band that hasn’t been together for very long. The added fact that they are experiencing an increasing level of success and visibility despite playing in a style long out of commercial favor indicates, likewise, they have something special setting them apart from the pack. Few songs can possibly illustrate this better than the single “Pale Skin Latin Girls” and its accompanying video. The song from their 2017 album A Witch Shall Be Born finds them doubling down on the musical approach gaining them initial notice and making excellent use of remarkable lead singer and songwriter Sophia Anita Reyes. She is certainly, alone, one wild card the band can always play if they had nothing else at their disposal, but that’s far from the case with this formidable unit.
There’s two interesting qualities defining the song’s guitar work. Anyone familiar with the genre, as they listen to the band bash away, can hear the straight ahead rock qualities they bring to bear. It’s a song that definitely embraces a groove and eschews a lot of guitar pyrotechnics in favor of bludgeoning riffs, locked in drums, and a fluid bass line providing the guitar with a sub-textual rhythmic counterpoint. There’s some lead flash tossed tastefully into the mix, but New Evil clearly err on the side of artistry rather than over-indulging the genre’s six string tropes. Little moves like that make it impossible to deny their power. Singer Sophia Anita Reyes brings two distinct elements to bear with her singing. She has great phrasing that gets inside all of the key spots in the lyric, but she also has elements of a blues singer in her voice working and warring with a theatrical yowl, never tuneless, that holds listeners’ attention.
The video is evocatively shot and not merely some promotional accoutrement for the single. It’s an impressive DIY effort with a story by Reyes that doesn’t serve to explain the song or dramatize every second, but rather serves as a visual interpretation of the material. The performers bring the same emotive qualities to their video performances that likely define much of their stage presence and this added strength of the video helps further set apart from typical, less ambitious fare in this vein. Their youthful attitude and charisma come across quite vividly and there’s an understated sense of humor about the video as well that bumps up its entertainment factor. New Evil could have scarcely devised a better package to represent both this single and the band’s album. This is a thoroughly entertaining and hard rocking experience that shows confidence and talent in equal measure.