“Give Me One Chance”, the first single from Austin, Texas trio Buenos Diaz’s fifth album Gringos Novelas II, should thrust Nick Diaz and his band further into a much deserved spotlight. Despite surely being labeled by many as “indie rock”, the tag has little meaning with a song like this. There’s no ragged but right production style sounding more like a self-conscious affectation rather than a honest reflection of the band’s intent; instead, the track has an off the cuff first take feel as if Diaz finished it off mere minutes before committing it to a recording and the flash of inspiration illuminating its verses and choruses will grab you.
It begins with the guitar work. The overall band performance is superb, but Diaz’s six string takes the lead with its mix of hard charging chords and intensely passionate lead playing. He never over extends the song with needless guitar flash, though plenty of hints abound he’s more than capable of doing so, and instead uses his instrumental prowess to serve the song and empathize its underlying mood. This is a song veering between longing and judgment, directed both at its subject and Diaz himself, but there’s a pleading heart at the heart of the track that its chorus drives home with unadorned emotion. The guitar playing embodies those qualities in every respect.
His voice does as well. Diaz stretches some lines out to great dramatic effect, snaps some off in his mouth and tosses them aside, and brings everything to a boil during a chorus delivered without any needless frills. The band conjures a virtual wall of sound his voice contends with quite skillfully and his voice cuts through the sonic din quite obviously engaged and inspired, a feeling only growing stronger when he hits the chorus and unleashes his most emotional vocal lines. He made me a believer in his sincerity with a single listen.
Diaz has garnered well earned praise for his writing talents and, if this single is an accurate barometer of what’s to come, Gringos Novelas II will showcase his outstanding growth as a lyricist. The song is never too wordy and mixes in accessible imagery with powerful and sometimes surprising turns of phrase tailored to the song rather than working against it. Buenos Diaz, based on this song alone, lacks even a nodding acquaintance with the specter of self-indulgence. Instead, they don’t waste their time or the listeners and look to make an immediate impact and connection with the audience.
I judge those efforts to be a rousing success. If you enjoy rock music written and performed with passion to burn, “Give Me One Chance” checks off those boxes will reaching far beyond the cookie cutter guitar histrionics too many bands often mistake for spirit. It has a big sound, but never looks to steamroll you – instead, it’s a song sweeping you into an electrified storm of emotion while never bearing down on you in any sort of claustrophobic way. Buenos Diaz is another in a long line of memorable exponents from the Austin, Texas music scene and their latest single holds up under multiple listens. “Give Me One Chance” is music built to linger in your memory long after the final note fades.