Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Being in the good graces of the woman that you love is about as important as it gets. You must be sweet and understanding. You must remind her that you're less of a person than she is, for most of the time this is absolutely true. She is a nicer and a more caring person than you'll ever be. You should try to pick up after yourself so that she doesn't have to. You should apologize profusely when you don't, and you know that you won't pick up after yourself as often or as well as she would like, so you'll be apologizing a lot. You should try to be better about it. You should kiss and hug much and you should mean all of your sweet nothings so that they aren't just nothings. She'll see through empty phrases and token embraces. The San Antonio, Texas, four-piece Hacienda know the ways of the woman and they have taken it upon themselves to chronicle their heartfelt feelings in song, so maybe they can keep their women happier for greater stretches of time than they otherwise would. They sound as if they've done their fair share of explaining at the ends of nights and yet, we hear the three brothers and cousin sounding as if they're the best husband and boyfriends a girl could ever want. They are loyal to a fault and they find those beautiful parts, those hidden beauties in every aspect of the women they're spending their time with. It's an endearing sort of adoration or infatuation that sounds as if it would be exactly what you'd want out of a relationship. There are those moments of relationships going sour, but we get the feeling that the boys of Hacienda were blindsided by the dissolution of them, that they probably didn't deserve the treatment they were given. Abraham, Rene and Jaime Villanueva, along with their cousin Dante Schwebel, make us crave the person we love the most. They make us yearn for getting a big gulp of country air. They make our mouths water for backyard BBQs, homemade potato salad and being surrounded by our immediate and extended families as far down the line as we can possibly get. The songs on their debut "Loud Is The Night," follow-up "Big Red & Barbacoa" and the just-mixed upcoming album that they recorded with friend and confidante, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, are the kinds of songs that are peppered with those little firecrackers that you can feel going off in your blood when life is treating you right, when you can feel that gleam in your mouth, when you feel like going out and being sociable and taking all of the splendors in that you're able to handle. They are songs that feel savage, that feel like the brightest moonlight tinged with the golden-brownest liquor, that feel like you would like to feel most often. They are full of the fruits of life, even if they get bittersweet from time-to-time. It's as if they've taken stock in what matters most to them and devoted themselves to retaining all of it - every last little bit - and savoring it. It would be hard not to consider them one of the criminally unknown American rock and roll bands right now.