Kinky, a five-piece electronic rock band from Monterrey, Mexico, doesn't have many English-language songs in its repertoire, but the band played just about all of them at World Cafe Live on Wednesday, front-loading their set for the Anglo crowd. They needn't have bothered. You don't need to speak two languages, or even one, for their mixture of dance-floor grooves, synthesized squelch and rock punch to make itself understood.
In fact, the band's attempts at crossovers are often its least inspired music. The show started strong, with "Massacre Snica," whose title was effectively translated by its thumping beat and urgent riffs. But even without the lackluster rap that mars the version on their latest album, Barracuda, "Those Girls" felt like a crude pastiche of early-'90s leftovers. And a shouted, almost tuneless version of Wall of Voodoo's "Mexican Radio" missed its shot at upending the song's caricatures, although it did coax a few listeners out of their seats.