Known for their energetic live shows as much as their recordings, Kinky are a Latin alternative group that draws from funk-rock as well as electronic dance music, resulting in a unique hybrid that has garnered them an international following.
The five-piece band from Monterrey, Mexico, first came together in 2000 as a trio comprised of vocalist/guitarist Gilberto Cerezo, keyboardist/programmer Ulises Lozano, and guitarist Carlos Chairez. Drummer Omar Gongora and bassist Cesar Pliego joined shortly thereafter, giving the group more of a band essence, and by summer 2000, the guys were prepared to perform at the Battle of Bands hosted by the annual Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) in New York City. British producer Chris Allison was impressed by Kinky and offered to produce the group as well as release their debut album on his Sonic360 label. The British producer already had a solid track record -- Coldplay, the Beta Band, Fila Brazillia, Dot Allison, the Wedding Present, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, and more -- so there were high hopes. The resulting self-titled debut, Kinky (2002), was met by critical acclaim and benefited commercially from a car commercial spot advertising the Nissan Altima. When Kinky began work on their follow-up album, Atlas (2003), they cut back on the electronics, favoring a sound that could be replicated live on-stage, for the group had become recognized as an impressive live act. Kinky's third album, Reina (2006), was recorded in a cabin in the mountains of Southern California -- complete with mudslides -- and featured guest performances from Men at Work's Colin Hay and Intocable accordionist Ricardo Muñoz. An odds-and-ends collection, Rarities (2007), followed, before their fourth album, Barracuda, was released in late 2008. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi