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MUSIC REVIEW: THE MEZCALTONES – Mexican Hillbilly Surf Music

| 18 December 2020 | Reply

MUSIC REVIEW: THE MEZCALTONES – Mexican Hillbilly Surf Music
February 2020
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

It’s becoming a much anticipated event every 22 or 23 months – a new Mezcaltones CD – and this, their third, is going “straight to the pool room.”

As usual, a mix of their unique originals and a few carefully picked covers transformed in their inimitable style, Mexican Hillbilly Surf Music does exactly what it says on the tin as surely as if Dick Dale was guesting with Los Lobos at a Dia de los Muertos celebration in The Titty Twister.

There’s more of a cowboy feel to this release, especially on Ellie and Dancin’, but to kick proceedings off, the instrumental Hillbilly Surf Rage channels all those King Of The Surf Guitar chops south of the border and whacks a big ole sombrero on its head. It’s a scorching opener guaranteed to get listeners in the mood and reaching for a shot of anejo with an ice cold beer chaser.

The late Steve Young’s Lonesome On’ry & Mean is the first cover and is actually less countryfied than expected, before the aforementioned originals Ellie and Dancin’. Los Lobos’s Don’t Worry Baby will get the dancers on their feet, then Motorcycle Girl shows off El Shango and Neralita’s guitar work. The Mezcaltones have long and proudly stated they made the sort of music Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodiguez would use on their movie soundtracks, and this track is living proof.

Shango’s Surfwaxxx is another Tarantino-esque instrumental, all early-‘60s reverb-drenched pipeline pickin’ guitar set to a driving rhythm. This is where it’s at, baby, in all its retro glory.

Six Days On The Road, another cover, this time by way of Earl Green, is given a country rock treatment perfectly in line with its trucking theme, and around about now it dawns on us: this isn’t just fun rock n’ roll music – this is road music. The perfect soundtrack to a party in your car on your next long drive.

The album closes out with the ‘70s-Stones-like Make Ends Meet, another truckin’ song, another cool road tune, another damn fine excuse to crack a coldie and blow the froth off.

Mexican Hillbilly Surf Music is another very cool album from these Sydney natives, who are drawing inspiration from the other side of the world.

As an aside, singer Col Padre (Porter) launched a new short film called Uno in early May, featuring The Mezcaltones – you can watch at this link –

Category: CD Reviews

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