Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Los Straitjackets - Damas Y Caballerosdotdotdotdot
artworkFinally, a live CD from the incredible Los Straitjackets, recorded at the legendary Foothill Club. In top form, this marvelous masked band romps in top form through their own classics and some grand covers as well. Tight, rock solid performances, excellent sound, and high energy, all through the sense of humor that permeates their live shows. Some new tunes are introduced for the first time on disc as well. Lifer or inductee, this long overdue disc will surely make your instrumental day. A must have!
Picks: Outta Gear, State Fair, The Casbah, Calhoun Surf, Itchy Chicken, Last Date, Kawanga, I'm Branded, My Heart Will Go On (love theme from Titanic), Squad Car, Rockula, Tempest, Lynxtail, Tailspin, Pacifica, Driving Guitars, Sing Sing Sing, Sleep Walk, Rawhide

Track by Track Review


Outta Gear dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The chickens are swaying to this rooster-on-the-walk monster, infectious and tongue in cheek delightful.

State Fair dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Yup, this is just too fun. The dry surf chop rhythm and the warm melody line come together in a perfectly crafted Danny Amis lead number. Way cool imagery and spunk.

The Casbah dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Danny's fine Spanish yadda yadda welcomes the band to the Foothill and introduces "Casbah." This previously unheard-on-CD track shimmies with that Eddie Angel charm and a squirmy harem riff that's sure to please. Extra cool.

Calhoun Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Danny Amis' first ever composition (from his days with his first band the Overtones ) rocks mightily. His fluid melody and happy charm bounce with a grinning gate and excellent surf credentials. Infectious rhythm and great drums.

Itchy Chicken dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of the best chicken bop tunes ever takes you right out in the barnyard, where the chickens peck the ground, looking for a few grains to scarf down, and sway to the chunky pickin' of Eddie Angel's great lead work. The guitar plays the part of the chicken voice so well, and the flying double picked parts are fever pitched. Grindy, fast, super fun.

Last Date dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Floyd Cramer's "Last Date" is a great vehicle for the soft side of Los Straitjackets. Not just well done and suave, it's also a little humorous and quite friendly.

Kawanga dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Los Straitjackets tour de surf uses numerous riffs from surf history - the "Wipe Out" drum break, touches of "Fun Fun Fun" and more under their usual twang. With extreme energy, they slam through the surf references and with ultra twang and big grins. Hillbilly surf, speedy with maximum drum action and a quirky little melody line. Great track.

I'm Branded dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a meter so precise it's almost scary, Los Straitjackets womp the bomp and shimmer the vibrato of this timely Link Wray classic. Eddie's twang tone is perfect for this tune.

My Heart Will Go On (love theme from Titanic) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This shimmering track brings grins to the live audiences. It's very pretty with its vibratory throb. Someone had to do the Titanic theme... might as well be Los Straitjackets. Very pretty, and quite a distance from their usual pumped deliveries. The big reverby tom toms are very cool.

Squad Car dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Eddie and the Showmen's "Squad Car" is magnificently driven from the streets of Nashville, bringing harsh twang power to this mighty classic, while retaining its surf credentials. Amazingly powerful and crisp.

Rockula dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Grodie "Cave Man" sorta thing with Eddie Angel's ultra garage edge. Whammy intensified fifties B-movie rock thriller weirdness with crunch and twang. The intense whammy and the screams are frightening. Very fine track.

Tempest dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tempest" is a fifties riff rock instro... lots of grind, not much melody. Fun, and in a live format, effectively crunchy and entertaining.

Lynxtail dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Twanging vibratoed chords, a Link Wray sort of structure, and too much magnetism. Fine suave evil, and shimmering tone. Grand leather jacket promenade pomp and whammy swirl.

Tailspin dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

From the double picked intro slam, the track sucks you right in, as do most of their monsters. It is very fast, fun, high energy, and mostly a riff slammed into your subconscious, emphasized with major low-E double picked rage during the bridge.

Pacifica dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a stunningly beautiful coastal song, with shear imagery and almost Polynesian twang. The track gives immediate warmth of the sun and a sense of a slight breeze on the face. Stunningly fluid track.

Driving Guitars dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures' "Driving Guitars" is a good vehicle for the Los Straitjackets sound and fury. They bring new life to this twang fest with spirit and fun.

Sing Sing Sing dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Luis Prima's "Sing Sing Sing" is another obvious choice for the lads to cover. Their grins and sway compliment this big band classic. The drums are so much a part of the feel of this. They don't play the classic huge tom tom rage that Prima used, yet rock mightily. Totally infectious.

Sleep Walk dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Santo and Johnny's pretty and silky song. Eddie makes it work, and the crowd was very pleased. A fine performance.

Rawhide dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Link Wray's "Rawhide" is the crowd pleasing closer to the show. Monster twang and crunch for 2:40... and then, after a twenty being egged on from the crowd, they do another verse. It's all a lad can take. Eddie's guitar is manic!