Take a dose
Every time I listen to Sobre2is’ demo tape, I imagine Rocky Balboa punching and training his way through an inspirational montage. Sobre2is, a Latin power-pop quartet, is like Journey with a vibrato in Spanish. Its name is pronounced sobray-dos-ees and means “overdose.”
Composed of singer and acoustic guitar player Edson Artica, drummer Fabian Ortega, electric guitarist Juan Flores, and bassist and keyboardist Julio Molina, Sobre2is brings a wide variety of styles to its music.
The influence of Ortega, a Korn fan, is heard on the rare occasions when Artica’s smooth and soaring voice meets up with unprovoked death metal riffs. However, the transitions aren’t as abrupt as that may sound. Flores often sets them up with hair-metal guitar escapades. It’s like a trip through musical time. They’ll go from Bread to Van Halen to Nine Inch Nails in seven seconds. Those familiar with Latino music may recognize the influence of Mexican rock bands Mana and Jaguares.
“It’s a mix of everything,” says Ortega.
The hard-metal leanings of Ortega and Flores are set off by the romantic and sentimental styles favored by Artica and the heavy Journey influence carried by Molina.
The result is a constant sense of tension. Sobre2is often sounds like it takes a million different directions at once. As such, the music is continually interesting but also a little disjointed.
This is not surprising, given that Flores is originally from El Salvador, Artica is from Honduras, Molina is from Peru, and Ortega is from Mexico.
Ortega says the band members met up in Reno by pure coincidence. They were all musicians before coming to the United States, and Flores says they complemented each other from the beginning.
Sobre2is makes no secret of its musical intentions.
“We’re a commercial band,” Flores says. “To be commercial, you need melodies and girls … I think our strength is melody.”
Ortega seconds Flores’ point. “Being commercial isn’t a bad thing,” he says. “Au contraire.”
The commercialism seems to be paying off. The members of Sobre2is say they usually break even—no small feat in Reno.
Sobre2is has opened shows for Liranroll and Mexican pop sensation Gloria Trevi. They’ve also played at the University of Nevada, Reno and bars like Knucklehead’s. Playing in English-speaking bars has proven successful, says Flores.
“The bartender [at Knucklehead’s] said, ‘I don’t have a goddamn clue what you were saying, but you guys kick ass',” he says.
As a side note, no matter how Latin they get, Molina says he will never gyrate like Shakira on stage.
Flores says Sobre2is is going to do one more show, a free charity event at Coco Boom, before taking a break to compose more original material.
“We’re going to stop doing shows until about March,” says Artica.
Flores says the band currently does about 25 percent original songs and about 75 percent covers. English speakers probably won’t recognize the covers. But Flores says they’re moving away from covers because fans are reacting positively to their original songs.
“People are singing along to our songs,” he says. “That’s when we decided to make more.”
The band plans to release a compact disc by next September and then do a West Coast tour.