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CD Review: Del Rio's Escape From Del Rio 

Independent; Release Date: July 25, 2015

The debut album from Charlotte quartet Del Rio — singer/guitarist Pete Hurdle, bassist Jeff Klumpp, drummer Miles Knox and guitarist Chris Pittman — is a quick-hitting 13 tracks filled with steady-handed pop-punk, splashes of humor and plenty of pop culture references.

Album opener, "GTS," does plenty in its 1-minute-and-29-seconds, giving the listener a quick intro of what's ahead — a breakdown or two, guitar solo, sung and spoken lyrics. From there, it's on to "Gwen Stacy," named for the Marvel comics character with lyrics about fitting in and a quick reference to the formerly filmed-in-Charlotte HBO series Homeland with the lyric "I am not the man known as Abu Nazir." "Leave Me On My Own" offers a jangly, '50s-inspired simplicity in its layering with clear guitars, a retro drum beat and occasional harmonies.

A little more than half way through, the music loses its cleaner qualities in favor of rougher-sounding instrumentation and singing. It's all within the framework established earlier on the album though. Think of the album as a concert that starts the evening off nicely, but by 10 or so songs into the show, everyone's had a few beers, is getting loose and ready to get rowdy. Just as the beer starts splashing, Del Rio calms everyone down with the mellow, album-closing title track and its Latin flair. It's a fine performance for a debut album.

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