Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Los Straitjackets - Super Sonic Guitars In 3-Ddotdotdotdot
artworkIt's been a bit of a wait for a new Los Straitjackets CD. They've moved into a grodier place in some ways, yet all of the essential elements of their music are in tact - the guitar wizardry, the perfect percussion, the rock solid bass, and those grins! Less for the surf fan, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying another fine masked marvel release!
Picks: Squid, Dipinto Twist, Time Bomb, Can You Dig It, San Diego Shutdown, Isn't Love Grand, Giggle Water, Midnight In Salerno, Beach Bag, Jungleaya, Galaxy Drive, Tarantula, Dreamland

Track by Track Review

Squid dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Thick fuzzed frat thrash is at the heart of "Squid." I think this is more Eddie Angel than Los Straitjackets. Tons of energy, almost frantic, and delivered with silent grins.

Dipinto Twist dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Hinting slightly of "Hippy Hippy Shake," this song is a rhythm and rock twangster with edge and thump. Dinosaur rock.

Time Bomb dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Time Bomb" is a slow lumbering fuzz monster looking for a victim. Thick with fuzz and feedback, this deliberately paced song is monstrous! Additional musicianship from Anja Dixon-Stax - vocal, and Dom Fleming - noise particles.

Can You Dig It dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Sporting a very cool vibrato melody, this song is enjoyable and earthy, with a clean sound and friendly twang. You can just see the masked marvels as you listen to this! Archie Thompson - sax, and Mitch Manker - trumpet add their craft to "Can You Dig It."

San Diego Shutdown dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Billy Zoom's sax amps up the tribal drums and great twang of "San Diego Shutdown." Los Straitjackets are masters of the simple, a talent that is demonstrated here. Simple melody lines, repetition overcome, and grins everywhere. The drum production and arrangement is not unlike "Topsy" or a Sandy Nelson classic. Too cool!

Isn't Love Grand dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

With the feel of the Beatles, "Isn't Love Grand" is melodic and bouncy, with a warm sound and grinning spunk. Catchy and friendly, this song is more than satisfying. Great tone and drums!

Giggle Water dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Billy Zoom adds a flute duet to the lead guitar, creating a playful sound. The stinging guitar parts offset the grinning main lines. Great drums and bass thump complete the picture. Way cool!

Midnight In Salerno dotdotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Surf chords and delicate plucking, echoed guitar lines that cry out for a European summer holiday, and a warm and friendly sound... "Midnight In Salerno" is a fine track that's hard to take out of the CD player. Mighty fine!

Beach Bag dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Rockin' funky pumpin' organ melody and guitar crunch. "Beach Bag" is a blend of deliberate and fluid sounds. Playful, yet controlled.

Jungleaya dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

With drums in the tradition of the big bands, and guitar nodding to the Saxons, "Jungleaya" romps with a sensual playfulness, which is extended by Billy Zoom's sax and DJ Bonebreak's ultra cool vibes. Very fun track!

Galaxy Drive dotdotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Sort of a chicken bop song, with thumpy bass and vibrato charm. Stinging whammy adds a power dimension. "Wipe Out" drums thunder the break, while the rest of the track sparkles with energy and panache. Billy Zoom appears on sax.

Tarantula dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The motors race by, Jon Spencer's laughs and Theremin wails scare us, and Don Fleming's noise particles clinch the fear factor. The song is a space-horror epic of whammy and danger like the Ventures might have done with just a little more spunk. Great track!

Dreamland dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Slow dance chords and rhythm section run beautifully beneath a very pretty melody. Romance is in the air as "Dreamland" flows across your speakers. Very cool way to end the CD.