CD REVIEW: THE MEZCALTONES – The Mezcaltones EP
20 May, 2016
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Like the aural equivalent of tequila and sunshine, The Mezcaltones are so cool it hurts. Hip priests of south-of-the-border (to Sydney, that is), post-siesta Tex-Mex grooves, these nudie-shirt-and-stetson-wearing rockers lay down a musical chimichanga that has as much to do with Tarantino and Rodriguez as it does Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash.
Mixing these seven tracks up between originals and cover versions, the four-blokes-and-two-ladies making up The Mezcaltones wear their influences proudly on their dusty sleeves: a Johnny Cash slow train chug drives Roy Buchanan’s Mule Train Storm, their own Here’s To Love is a Tex-Mex country blues so frazzled that you can smell the unwashed clothes and stale whiskey. Their take on The Baboons’ Drinkin’ Gasoline is another boozy howl to rabble rousing, powered by another Tennessee steam train stomp.
The songs here may be full of a hard-earnt regret, but they’re also possessed of an infectiously irresistible groove, with Dick Dale’s Misirlou expertly rendered, and Los Lobos’ Shakin’ Shakin’ Shakes reinforcing the habanero salsa feel to the record, as Uno Cerveza closes the set with more of the Devil’s blues – something it sounds like The Mezcaltones know a lot about.
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