Los Plantronics

What do you get if you cross Mexicana/Americana with a “surfer mentality”, with the slightest hint of Rockabilly? Can’t picture it? How about Herbert Alpert’s “Tijuana Brass”, performed by Hunter S. Thompson and conducted by Eno Morricone? Still can’t picture it? Neither can I to be honest – this is one crazy album, whose cover describes itself as “Mariachi Death Surf” (Wet String Whammy, Bending Those Sets To Hell”), and I have been told to file this under “Vikings Invading Mexico”!

The opener “From Mecca To Mescalito”; an instrumental piece could be used in any modern day Spaghetti Western with ease, and sets the tone for the rest of album. As it almost smoothly transitions into “Moon Dawg”; a slightly more psychedelic track, but still one that is true to the album’s concept.

Los Plantronics

Now at this point it is worth mentioning that this year is Los Plantronics 20th anniversary, and to celebrate they have produced “Surf Times” They holed themselves up in the wilderness (50 miles North of Oslo) so they could pour their heart and soul into the album, reworking six classic tracks and writing six of their own – and it shows. The sound quality, production and tightness of the sound is spot on. They draw on many influences and have achieved an authentic surf sound, although to this non-surfer it is the sound I would expect to hear!

With a clever reworking of “So You Say You Lost Your Baby” there is even a brass section that takes you South of the border in a heartbeat.

Side 2 opens with a more bass-driven sound in “Zapatista Surfista”, mixing that Sixties surf guitar and brass section and its addictive bassline and harmonica.

…and is soon followed by a track that could have been lifted from any “hep-cat” movie-the guitar twang’ing and rat-a-tat drums, all offset by an almost cinematic wind section. This is a fast-paced track, that you can imagine the road opening up ahead of you as you escape into the sunset. Next up is “Red Hot”, the fuzzed up vocals offset by a Rock ‘n’ Roll guitar that has the piano accompanying the energy and pace.

The album closes on a more Punk’ish re-working of an old classic that they call “Shortin’ Bread Part II”; and while not overly indicative of the tracks that preceded it, is still a fun track. Probably best to watch and listen for yourselves…

Los Plantronics

To be honest I was hooked at the description “Mariachi Death Surf”; and if the UK continues to get hotter and hotter, this is the perfect soundtrack for a balmy weekend on the coast.

Line Up
Signor Havn – fuzz-tone guitar & Fedoras
Dr. Stax – guitar & vox
Lars Erik Larsen – bass & vox
Slim Slammer – drums & vox
Bendik Brænne – sax & baritone sax
Didrik Lund – Hammond B3 organ & piano

Track Listing
From Mecca To Mescalito
Moon Dawg
Mary Lou
Golden Dawn Surf Patrol
El Jeffe
So You Lost Your Baby
Red Hot
Montezuma’s Revenge
T For Terror
Shortnin’ Bread pt. II


Words by Jon.

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