It’s safe to say that Hermanos Gutiérrez have an unshakable love for the classic spaghetti western. I’m talking Sergio Leone, of course, but also Ennio Morricone. With their latest album, El Bueno Y El Malo (“The Good and The Bad”), the Swiss-Ecuadorian pair make it clear that they are gunning for a spot on the soundtracks of future films, crafting ten tracks that stand proudly beside those by Morricone himself in terms of atmosphere and instrumentation.
After an already excellent run of five albums, Hermanos Gutiérrez have really found their sound with El Bueno Y El Malo, and also discovered their ideal partner in Dan Auerbach. The Easy Eye Sound label boss and co-founder of The Black Keys liked what he heard so much that he signed the Swiss-Ecuadorian duo to his label after hearing their 2020 album, Hijos Del Sol. With this latest album, Hermanos Gutiérrez mix atmospheric instrumentals with gentle Latin American tinged folk, drawing you into a unique vision that’s as beautiful as it is cinematic.
With a sound built around subtly shimmering percussion and acoustic guitar, each of the album’s songs has an air of nostalgia that really gets under your skin. From the dazzling cactus-strewn vista of “Los Chicos Tristes” to the fragile beauty of “Dorado Valley”, the brothers Gutiérrez deliver a sublime, fully immersive journey that combines their unique Ecuadorean musical roots with a modern take on Americana, blues, folk and rock & roll.
Put simply, this album is an absolute delight. The Gutiérrez brothers have plumbed the depths of Sergio Leone’s classic films for inspiration, but El Bueno Y El Malo stands tall on its own merits. There are some absolutely breathtaking moments on this record and it feels effortlessly stylish in a way that alt-country or any other genre descriptor could never hope to describe. It’s an album that gives you something familiar yet utterly new; lyrically reflective but also playful; nostalgic but also innovative; dark but also light-hearted.