Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Los Straitjackets - Los Vivos y Los Rarosdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a foreign package... a compilation of Los Straitjackets classics from a couple of their albums. Naturally cool!
Picks: Kawanga!, Rockula, Itchy Chicken, Pacifica, State Fair, Tailspin, Out Of Limits, Jack The Ripper, The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt

Track by Track Review

Kawanga! dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A re-recording of their Tour de Surf. In their impeccable way, Los Straitjackets use numerous bits of surf history - the "Wipe Out" drum break, touches of "Fun Fun Fun" and more under their usual twang. When others have done this, particularly the "Wipe Out" bit, it's been lees than effective, even annoying. but here, it's humorous and intriguing. Maybe it's the energy and grins they employ that makes the difference. Hillbilly surf, speedy with maximum drum action and a quirky little melody line. Great track.

Rockula dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Grode "Cave Man" sorta thing with Eddie Angel's ultra garage edge. Whammy intensified fifties rock killer weirdness, with space age Theremin-like sounds, and some blood curdling screams and evil laughs.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Out Of Limits dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Strait out of the era... sorta. "Out Of Limits" is very reverently done, but with none of the cheese of the Joe Saraceno session. It's simply clean and direct. Pure instro pleasure.

Jack The Ripper dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a rippin' clean version of Link Wray's extra boss "Jack The Ripper." Like a cross between the classic Los Straitjackets sound and Eddie Angel's more primitive hard edged solo tracks. OK, more towards the Los Straitjackets sound, but edgier. Great stuff!

The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Arranged with Nashville twang and crisply cut, "The Rise And Fall Of Flingel Bunt" moves away from the understatement that was the original and the shallowness of the familiar Challengers cover into a more demanding and warm sound. This tune was one of just a handful of Shadows tunes that attempted to bridge the Atlantic into the surf idiom.