One of two discs that surfaced (thanks as usual to the industrious Spencer Sundell) during the weekend’s festival of food is by an obscure offshoot of LA roots-rockers Los Lobos. In a 1995 review by David Levine concerning the first release (“Latin Playboys“) he writes:
This music is so original and yet so familiar, it’s almost archetypal.
Which begins to convey the depth of the deliciousness of the band’s work.
Trolling for info I aso came across this review of a show at Aro.Space here in Seattle – and Bloomington musican Lisa Germano opened. Guess I need to read the Stranger more often.
The recording style on “Dose” is deliberately primitive, reminiscent of Pussy Galore and The Butthole Surfers’ exploration of the aesthetics of noise. However, in contrast to the work of these bands, which frequently buried a groove under loads of high-frequency noise or other grating aural effects, the Playboys embrace the groove; the squeezed and scratchy quality of the sound creates an effect similar to that of listening to a field recording. It dramatically enhances the power of the music.
Naturally enough, there’s a distinct Latin beat to the music which is infectious as well.
Interestingly, Amazon customer reviews prefer the first disc; however, the reviews for “Dose” include a number of highly negative reviews in which individuals were drastically put off by the more experimental nature of the recordings than the average Los Lobos cut. I have not heard the first record, but it seems likely that I should check it out.
I recall hearing a couple of cuts from “Dose” when it was released and very much liking them, but I did not know the name of the ensemble, and thus remained ignorant. Now, my knowledge is greater. Thanks, Spence!