Fundamental erupted at the outset of 1999 like some unknown yet violently wonderful Puerto Rican volcano, smothering traditional salsa breaks in a rolling river of thrash-metal magma. Young vocalist Sergio Curbelo and his fervent quartet of cohorts made the invaluable acquaintance of that omniscient alt-Latin producer Gustavo Santaolalla, leading to their being signed by a major Anglo rock label and their escape from the Latin music bins where so many of their alt-peers languish. Their lyrics, often swaying between Spanish and Spanglish, display a broad-edged social awareness, and like brothers-in-arms Rage Against the Machine or Orishas, maintain an abiding sense of righteousness. The title track is an intergenerational call for awakening one's higher human potential, hurtling along to the sound of funky horns, congas, and the metallic crunch of Ramon Ortiz's guitar riffage. "Whatever" contrasts the smooth-rollin' irreverence of a low-rider groove with a tart portrait of blasé "whatever" culture on their home island. Fundamental served to close the gap between suburban white skate punks and boricua rockeros, and no one interested in the alt-Latin canon should be without it.