Dirty Water Records

Taking Music Backwards Into Tomorrow

I-94 Bar: Los Chicos "In The Age Of Stupidity"

It's obvious that you're in the presence of greatness at a gig when a singer coaxes the entire crowd to limbo down lower than he. So it goes with Los Chicos, a mobile garage rock party ruled by a mixture of red wine and Coca Cola who've swung through Australia on a couple of occasions. Of course, gig greatness often does not translate to shiny silver CD or black platter. "In The Age Of Stupidity" is an exception to that rule.

"In The Age…" is a party. Nothing less. The song "War Or Party" proves it. It's a two-minute blast of twang and limber vocal cajoling that clatters along like there's no tomorrow. There probably isn't but who cares when you're summoning up meaningful employment ("Willie and The Hand job") or an ode lambasting vacuousness (the garage-country honk pearl, "Age of Stupidity".)

Do we carry on with hyperbole. much? Only with stuff that deserves it. Los Chicos is a five-headed hurricane of good-time garage rock. That much is true. A tightly-wound engine room and a twin-brother guitar attack. Los Chicos have that "stutter" thing going that so many bands like them aspire to but couldn't achieve despite years of trying. These guys appear not to even have to try. Los Chicos say it themselves. This is a band that Sounds Amazing And Looks Like Shit.

And the vocals? Rafa is no choirboy - but nor does he need to be. There's a bit of gravel in the voice box and a style in the delivery that tells you he doesn't take himself too seriously. Songs like "Motor Ford" and "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer, One Wine" tell you a lot about his interests outside rock and roll. That is, rock and roll while drinking.

A dozen songs and the whole thang clocks in at a public hair's breadth less than half an hour. Which just gives you a reason to play it again, Senor. You say Spain's gone off the boil for rock 'n' roll? Not while these guys are kicking.

The Barman

Dirty Water Records London