Contrary to their name, Chicago-based bilingual psych-pop band Divino Niño is in no shortage of sinful bliss and stupor. Spearheaded by childhood friends Camilo Medina and Javier Forero, the five-person group has followed up their 2019 debut with their sophomore release, Last Spa on Earth, constantly reinventing itself through countless influences while remaining true to their kaleidoscope sensibility.
Album review by David Sosa
Strung along a modest 12-track total, the group incorporates several musical genres that should not work as well as they do together. The track “Tu Tonto” bridges the gap between the band’s often associated indie pop sound and a new electronic twinge to the majority of the songs with the hyper-pop drums on the song’s latter half, perhaps a result of collaborator Enjoy rubbing off on the band. He is the lone feature on the entirety of Last Spa on Earth, appearing on “Papelito,” an admittedly relaxed second-to-last closer perfect for a sunset on the beach amid some introspective lyrics. The rest of the album? A wild ride through sonic textures à la Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Perhaps no song embodies that description like “Ecstacy,” a house-inflicted dance track with trap snares tacked at the end to keep it interesting. And on “XO,” rosaries get traded for a date with “la chica anticrista,” a line delivered before the song becomes what can only be described as a reggaeton breakdown. All these elements could not be farther apart in terms of where they originated; the exact reason only an impressionable band such as Divino Niño could pull it off relatively effortlessly.
Their influences don’t stop with music, as they mention various references that most likely formed their odd, seemingly self-aware humor. On “Miami,” which in itself is a fun parody of influencer culture over a sleek electronic beat, they save room for a Tamagotchi bar. Equally hilarious is the reason for the failing relationship on synth-laced piano lament “Mona”: too much time spent playing Pokémon.
No matter if Last Spa on Earth isn’t what most expected from Divino Niño, it proves the band has much more to offer than initially believed. I’m hesitant to call this a formal introduction since the experimentation can sometimes come off too jarring and messy for their own good, particularly the comedown in the second half. All I could ask is that their next musical concoction is just as exciting.