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The Utterly Fantastic and Totally Unbelievable Sound of los Straitjackets

4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 4, 1998
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Genre: Popular Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
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Release Date: 21-MAR-1995
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 4, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder
  • ASIN: B000003NP3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,931 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Henry R. Kujawa on August 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Mention "surfing music" to most and they'll think you mean The Beach Boys. So did I, until a friend introduced me to these guys at Philly's Khyber Pass. WHOA!!! I had my mind completely blown that night. It's LOUD! It's EXCITING! It's MOODY! It's MELODIC as all get-out. And most importantly-- it's FUN! When you have 4 guys onstage playing entirely instrumental guitar music while wearing Mexican wrestling masks, how could it NOT be? Starting out with the explosive "Fury", the power and quality of this debut CD never lets up. Through slow & mysterious ("G-Man"), quirky ("Straitjacket"), cool ("Jetty Motel"), powerful & awesome ("Caveman"-- this contains the only lyric-- yes, singular-- on the disc, a much-improved remake of an Eddie Angel song from '93) you're taken on a wild roller-coaster ride you don't want to end. High-speed powerhouses like "Tailspin" (a single in Finland!) are breathtaking and hypnotic at the same time. The outrageous fun of "Itchy Chicken" shows a sense of humor all too lacking in most of today's so-called "popular" artists! And listen to the sheer clarity and beauty of "Calhoun Surf"-- can 95% of the rock guitarists out there play anywhere NEAR this good? LOS STRAITJACKETS quickly became my #1 album of 1995, and led me to discover several hundred other bands playing variations of the surf / instro genre. But-- incredibly-- NOBODY's topped them yet! With Danny Amis & Eddie Angel, LS boasts my picks for the 2 most EXCITING guitarists anywhere, and I rank drummer Jimmy Lester (who's always UP FRONT onstage!) as THE #1 most exciting drummer I've ever seen! These guys are SO GOOD onstage and off I sometimes wonder if producer Ben Vaughn has nothing more to do when he works with them than point a microphone and roll tape. (Hey-- they're HIS #1 fave surf band, too!)
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Format: Audio CD
Los Straitjackets is one of the top dogs in the surf rock scene, and if you pop this disc into your cd player, you'll see why. This is some top notch surf/instrumental rock done by folks who obviously love this kind of music. It's very apparent that these guys are having alot of fun playing this music. Fun is something missing from alot of groups anymore. When I wanna take a break from my progressive rock snobbery and just have fun, these guys are great way to do it. If you ask me, you really can't go wrong with any Los Straitjackets material, but their debut is hard to top, and I would suggest it as your first one if you decide to get any. Slipknot can stick it where the sun don't shine.
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Format: Audio CD
Los Straitjackets, a "surf band" which hails from Nashville, (known for its surf, of course) has recorded an album which recalls the guitar greats such as Dick Dale, The Ventures, The Fireballs, Link Wray, Duane Eddy and others who caused hundreds of thousands of kids with electric guitars to sit at their record players with their ears pressed to the loudspeakers and play the records over and over to get that lick just right. Although the sounds are familiar, the tunes are original, written by one or more of the four band members. Los Straightjackets consists of Eddie Angel, guitar; Danny Amis, guitar; E. Scott Esbeck, bass; and L.J. "Jimmy" Lester, drums. On these recordings, the band has made an excellent effort in keeping its sound clean; no fuzz boxes, distortion boxes or wah-wah pedals for these guys. Instead, Los Straitjackets concentrate on producing the "Fender sound" (named after the brand of guitar and bass and amplifier which produced this unique and often-copied sound) with nothing more than reverberation, tremolo, and an occasional use of the guitar's "whammy bar." Look elsewhere for your modulated thirds and augmented fifths. This is rock'n'roll! Three, maybe four chords at most, with a modulation to another key now and then, nothing earthshaking. But the music moves! This is a well-produced fun album, recorded by musicians who understand the genre and have made it their own. See them on tour, too. Check their web page. But first, buy their album!
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By A Customer on December 16, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Three years years ago I had hit a musical brick wall. After previously listening to everything and being stuck in the midst of the grundge years I was forced to listen to National Public Radio. During an intermissions they played Los Straightjackets "Calhoun Surf". I immediately drove to Garage d'Or in Minneapolis and bought the first CD. Surf may not be everybody. But I love !!! this album. I have since seen the band on three occasions prior to moving to France and talked to Danny Amis a couple of times. You can keep Alanis Morrisette and the rest of the overproduced poser crap that comes from industry music. I'll stick with the music that makes you happy to be alive. Buy this album it's the greatest!!! And to be produced by Ben Vaughn, well that in itself should be enough to at least try this album.
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Format: Audio CD
When I gave their sophomore album a listen, I was expecting it to sound a lot like the follow up album, THE VELVET TOUCH, but I was sorely mistaken, which is a good thing! The bands that have staying power are the ones that can reinvent their sound, Los Straightjackets are no exception. The twangy guitar and hyper-kinetic drum beats don't fail to satisfy...
Track 1. FURY The perfect tune to open the album and show you exactly what you're in for. Straight up surf rock that sounds the best when it's turned up real loud.
Track 3. STRIGHTJACKET This is a full on Link Wray-ish groove. Danny Amis and Eddie Angel burn through low down blues riffs while incorporating their signature surf sound. one of my favorite songs on the record.
Track 10. ITCHY CHICKEN As hilarious as it is cool, the title of the song hits the nail on the head. Somehow, the Straightjackets figured out how to make their axes cluck like chickens. In the tradition of Run Chicken Run, this one is equal parts Surfari's and Colonel Sanders. One of the numerous arguments that Los Straightjackets are one of the most talented (and original) bands of all time.
Track 13. RAMPAGE Smokin' rock & roll. Since the Jackets don't have lyrics, they rely on the name of the song to convey the idea and feelings of the tune. Once again, they came up with a title that fits the song like a glove (or a wrestling mask). RAMPAGE is a four way assault from all the instruments. These dude's rock hard and have a blast doing it.
In conclusion, this album gets an "A" from Peterbiltman for originality, fun and complexity. Los Straightjackets are proof that there still are a few good rock & roll bands out there.
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