While not as overtly experimental as 1992’s Kiko or the 1994 Latin Playboys side project of David Hidalgo and Louie Perez, Colossal Head does share some of that same arty aesthetic. It also rocks harder and features tougher grooves than anything Los Lobos had released since By the Light of the Moon. For proof, check out the scorching guitar of “Mas y Mas,” the tough rhythm break on “Can’t Stop the Rain,” or the gritty dual guitar and sax propulsion of “Manny’s Bones” and the title track. Focused, tight, and without filler, the album is also unselfconsciously eclectic. The soundscapes and effects that float around the edges of tunes like “Life Is Good” and “Little Japan” add texture while still fully supporting the songs. The studio wizardry works because of the strength of the songs and the overwhelming talent of the band, making Colossal Head a soulful marriage of creative restlessness and rock solid musical chops.