Surf music has often been all about the schtick. Whether it’s the melodies or the bands’ personas, surf is often part gimmick, part great music. Los Straitjackets just know how to turn it all up to 11.
Take twang-laden guitars, add fuzzedout bass and rock-solid drums – plus the Mexican luchadores masks, dark suits, and choreographed stage moves – and you have Los Straitjackets. The band is three guitarists strong – Danny Amis, Eddie Angel, and Pete Curry (who also plays bass as well as “lead bass” on “Mercury”). The powerhouse drumming comes courtesy of Jason Smay.
Their music reverberates with a retro vibe in the melodies and solos, as well as the song titles. “Cal-Speed” is a hotrodder’s dream, with its driving guitar lines. “Challenger 64” has a Hemi under the hood in its accelerated, trebly solos. “Teen Beast” sounds like it’s coming to get you in the after-dark shadows of a beach party.
This is pure fun, played good and loud.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Sept. ’09 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.