Surf Rock Never Dies

The Further Adventures of Los Straitjackets (Yep Roc Records)
Los Straitjackets

By Hunter Embry

In 1988, three guys out of Nashville got together to play surf rock around the city. Since, Los Straitjackets has acquired another member and stretched its modern surf rock to the limits, while wearing Mexican wrestling masks at live performances.

Lost Straitjacket's latest release, "The Further Adventures of Los Straitjackets" is back to basics with proto-punk, twanged guitar riffs that nod to the genres greats, Dick Dale and Duane Eddy. Songs like "Teen Beast" are fast-paced with rushing drums, drawn-out chords and many quick, spirited guitar riffs played close to the bridge a la Link Wray.

While the album is without vocals, it's no less entertaining. The 12-track album passes by in a half an hour. "Blowout," with its intensely fuzzed-out guitar intro and accented chords, is very reminiscent of the Yardbirds' "For Your Love," while "Kapt'n Krunch" hits with a heavy blues-ridden chord progression, sprawling lead guitar and a loudly cracking White Stripes-style snare.

Los Straitjackets also knows how to slow things down with the ‘50s-style dance track "Mercury," where the guitar is ultra-tremeloed and played in a slow crooning type melody.

Throughout "The Further Adventures of Los Straitjackets," the group displays its knack for writing and performing flawless surf rock. It's danceable, heavy and sounds good every time.

Visit straightjackets.com, if you dare.