Chica Diabla is a San Diego band, but their influences can mostly be traced to our nearest big-city neighbor, Los Angeles. Their sound is heavily steeped in the Sunset Strip sleaze of the '80s, particularly early Motley Crue, as well as in the glam-rock crunch of The Runaways and classic punk in the vein of Black Flag or X. Suffice it to say there are a few things you can count on when listening to Chica Diabla: Crunchy power chord guitar riffs, impossibly catchy hooks and a whole lotta 'tude.
All that being said, Chica Diabla aren't going out of their way to rewrite the rules of rock 'n' roll or carve out an entirely new genre. Not that they necessarily have to. While there's been a lot of bands for the past 35 years that have played some variation of what they do, there aren't really that many bands that are doing this beefy sleaze-rock thing right now, and fewer still doing it well, particularly in San Diego.
Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, Chica Diabla's self-titled debut comes and goes quickly (you might say it's too fast for love, to reference a classic Crue album), but in that time the hard-rocking quartet packs in a lot of fun and waves about a million middle fingers. A sampling of the song titles should give you some indication of the lyrical content—"Because Fuck You," "Nanana (I Do What I Want)," "Bat-Shit Crazy"—and "Missin' Out" begins with a pretty righteous kiss-off to an ex via Facebook message. Chica Diabla clearly do not give one-tenth of a shit.
That's not really true, though, at least as far as their songwriting goes. Some of the songs here are a little too snotty for their own good, but when Chica Diabla are on, they're most definitely on. Leadoff track "We Are One" is big on melody and wonderfully harmonized vocals while "My World" makes great use of a one-chord hook, and "Piñata" features one of the best riffs of the bunch. Chica Diabla aren't interested in innovation, but their take on no-frills dirtbag rock 'n' roll is so fun that it's hard to give a shit. When you need a soundtrack for a night of drinking and causing trouble, queue this up.