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Adelitas Way

Home School Valedictorian


Rick DeJesus - lead vocals

Robert Zakaryan - lead guitar

Keith Wallen - rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Derek Johnston - bass guitar

Trevor "Tre" Stafford - drums, percussion


            This Sin City band formed back in 2005. During a road trip to LA they took a detour to San Diego ended up in Mexico and eventually was handed their band name. Flash forward to 2008 and Adelitas Way signed their first major-label contract.  Virgin Records snatched them up and shipped them off to record their first record. They hit the road to support that self-titled debut, and expanded by adding a permanent bassist and another guitarist. The album was finally released in July 2009 with “Invincible” leading the way. Now nearly 2 years later they released their follow-up album Home School Valedictorian, and have hit the road with Seether, as well as a spot on the second annual Carnival of Madness tour to support it. The sophomore album features 11 tracks and kicks off with “The Collapse,” a quick three and a half minute killer. It has an amazing vibe that will catch your ear right off the bat and burrow itself into your brain. The vocals are perfect with a nice blend of lead vocals that are up in your face and the backing vocals coming from behind everything. It flows extremely well and kicks off this sophomore album off just right. “Sick” comes back strong with another great tune with awesome vocals, but even better music. If that wasn’t enough the lyrics and tunes take it a step further. This one has the power built up to be a huge number live. There are several spots where they can get the crowd involved and others that will have them going nuts. This is a true concert tune, it just has that presents about it. “Alive” takes a few times to fully embrace the track, but once you zone in you will start to fall for it. It offers up a great sound with tremendous vocals. You can sit back, close your eyes and enjoy. The track has the stuff to be made an excellent single. The drums get right up in there and hammer home a powerful set while the guitars sweep behind and bring it altogether. The vocals and lyrics are at the top of the list as well. “Criticize” gets a little dirty with some seductive and suggestive lyrics. The vibe will get stuck in your head and you will be repeating this tune in no time. It’s super catchy and easy to follow. The energy flows from it like water over a cliff and has the presents of a live track. Fans will be screaming this one at the top of their lungs, I guarantee it. “Good Enough” slows the record down with some heart-felt lyrics and a descent performance. It floats by on fluffy clouds and will have you closing your eyes until the guitar solo hits in which will have you screaming. Most of the track is a somber tune that might cause a little stir. “Cage the Beast” switches the intensity back on with a high powered intro that includes raging guitars and pounding drums. When the vocals enter everything seems to be recorded way in the back corner of the room. The guitars do come back to the front a few times, but not enough to help it on the album. It just seems that they missed on this one recording wise. The transitions are not crispy because of it. “I Can Tell” switches gears once again. The slow moving tune offers up passionate vocals and soft music. It has a few glimpses of flashy guitars, but they quickly fall back into place. It will have the couples holding on to one another. “Somebody Wishes They Were You” keeps the album slow with an offering that never quite grabs your attention. It just glides past. “Move” gives the album a little kick in the ass and gets it moving once again. The energy level is higher than the last few tunes and the track offers something that will have you coming back. The vibe is great and oozes of a live tune. The guitar solo will have you going nuts while the one section would be perfect to get a crowd involved. The vocals are high energy while the backing vocals flex their muscle some. It’s a great tune! “I Wanna” stays with the high impact style. The vocals rip through the lyrics while they toss out guitars with some nice effects on them. The drums lead the charge with a pounding set and they get a quick solo as well. They aren’t topped by the guitar solo that screams golden god. It would be a great live tune. “Hurt” closes out the album. The track is a monster with its huge arrangement and soft spoken vocals that will give you chills. It is a great way to close the album. The vocals will have you spinning as the tunes will have you going through the record again. It glides by with ease. Overall this is a descent album. There are several tracks that can do some serious work. They catch your attention and never leave your head. The overall vibe of the album is upbeat with a couple of slower tunes mixed in. They do hit a slow spot of a couple tracks in a row, but kick starts the album up again with a couple back to back upbeat numbers. The vocals are the star of the album. They demand attention nearly every tune and they get help from the backing vocals in almost all the right spots. They also have a battle or two. The guitars get let off the leash a few times for solos which have a couple that will melt your face. The drums also get into the solo mix. Lyrically this is a great album. You can tell that they writing process was done with a fine tooth comb. This is a good step in the right direction for these guys career.


Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

Alive, Criticize, Move


Track List:

  1. The Collapse
  2. Sick
  3. Alive
  4. Criticize
  5. Good Enough
  6. Cage the Beast
  7. I Can Tell
  8. Somebody Wishes They Were You
  9. Move
  10. I Wanna
  11. Hurt
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