Sexy, well-read, idealistic frontman Alberto "Beto" Cuevas (whose influences range from Elvis to Simon LeBon) often uses the mic -- and his album covers -- to push a political message. Subtlety is not his forte. He's known to stir up controversy with offhand remarks, and the band's latest release, Libertad, pictures Cuevas with tape over his mouth. While he -- more Bono than LeBon -- rails against war, nimble-fingered guitarist Pedro Frugone is busy creating notes as lithe as satyr butterflies caressing submissive ears, while drummer Mauricio Clavería pounds out polyrhythmic pulses that keep audiences en sus pies.
The band formed in the late '80s and carried on after the tragic death of one of its founders, Andrés Bobé. Its massive success came after an appearance on MTV Unplugged; the CD from that session (which features "El Duelo," a tribute to Bobé) earned the band a windfall of Grammys and awards, both Latin and non. We suggest pouncing on the rare chance to check out this 15-year-old supergroup; we're a long way from Chile, amigo. -- John Shannon