CD Review of The Further Adventures of Los Straitjackets by Los Straitjackets
Los Straitjackets: The Further Adventures of Los Straitjackets
Recommended if you like
Link Wray, Man or Astro-Man?,
early Los Straitjackets
Label
Yep Roc
Los Straitjackets:
The Further Adventures
of Los Straitjackets

Reviewed by Ed Murray

S
ure, guest vocals have consistently been a part of Los Straitjackets\' repertoire – even more so in recent years, it seems. But rockabilly/surf instrumentals have always been what this Mexican wrestling mask-bedecked foursome is all about. So, consider The Further Adventures of Los Straitjackets a solid return to form. It’s their first since 2007’s Spanish language border rock-centric Rock en Espanol Vol. 1 (produced by Los Lobos’ Cesar Rosas and featuring guest vocals from Mexican rockabilly belter Big Sandy), but it’s the band’s first all-instrumental album since 2003\'s Supersonic Guitars in 3-D.

Of course, Los Straitjackets – Eddie Angel (guitar, original co-founder), Danny Amis (guitar, original co-founder), Pete Curry (bass since ‘98) and Jason "Tean Beat" Smay (drums since ‘05) – have kept their devotees guessing for the better part of their 15-year career. From instrumental surf albums to collaborations with a plethora of guest singers (Reverend Horton Heat, Exene Cervenka, Nick Lowe and Dave Alvin, to name a few on just one album) to a Ventures-style cover of Celine Dion’s "My Heart Will Go On" (from Titanic) to Christmas music to numerous appearances on Late Night with Conan O\'Brien to being nominated for a Grammy for Rock ‘N’ Roll City, their 2003 collaboration with Chicago blues musician Eddy Clearwater, they’re the musical equivalent of the legendary and mythical chupacabra: one never knows when or where a sighting will take place, or, more importantly, what form it’s going to take.

Los Straitjackets

Rather than a rehash of, say, the surf-y style of ¡Viva! Los Straitjackets, Los Straitjackets opt for a more straight-up rock sound on this outing. A back-to-garage-basics blast of high energy fun, the spirit of which was captured perfectly by the pre-album release of a tequila-soaked take on Nirvana’s "Smells Like Teen Spirit," recorded during the sessions for The Further Adventures of…, but, sadly, not included on this album. No matter. The 13 tracks on this album are a fun, whimsical, raunchy and raucous musical romp, perfect as background music to a party or the late-night soundtrack to the movies in your own head.

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