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CD REVIEW: THE MEZCALTONES – AGAVÉ SOIRÉE

| 19 May 2023 | Reply

CD REVIEW: THE MEZCALTONES – AGAVÉ SOIRÉE
Independent
April 2023
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
90%

The Mezcaltones, the cavalera-painted sextet of mariachis hailing physically from Sydney and spiritually from the Titty Twister cantina, are back in all their Tarantino & Rodrigues-admiring and twanging guitar glory for album number three, and it’s another groovy ride.

Opening and closing with two twangtastic instrumentals, these tracks – Matahari Mimi at the front end, Amity Isle at the back – bookend not only the album, but its whole vibe, evoking images of Marty Robbins, Dick Dale, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodrigues, Tito et Tarantula, badass gunslingers, sombreros, and plenty of tequila with – you guessed it – agave. The familiarity of The Mexcaltones songs shouldn’t be seen as cheap imitation – oh, no, no, no. All these magpied references are homages, just like the likes of Tarantino or Rodrigues, perhaps, for instance, might write their films with subtle, loving references to their own past influences.

Wouldn’t Last A Day is a great duet between frontdude and chief mic-slinger Col Padre and one of the band’s two senoritas, Mimi or Neralita, whilst Not Going Home has the gritty pub feel and dirty schwang of Dr Feelgood.

Past albums have been heavy on the covers, but there’s only one here – Troy Seals and Eddie Setser’s Seven Spanish Angels, made famous by 1984’s Ray Charles & Willie Nelson duet. Here it’s rebooted in full-blown mariachi form and is bound to please bootscooters and rock n’ rollers alike.

When The Wheels Go Up is a paean to the old days when we’d get served non-stop drinks on a flight to anywhere, and with its backing vocals it resembles nothing more than an Easybeats stomper (and ain’t that one helluva compliment) treated to one of Col’s too-cool-for-school, laconic makeovers. News For You channels ‘60s soul with a sultry female vocal, the singer putting her foot down: If you think I’m just something to do, I’ve got some news for you.

Agavé Soirée doesn’t mess about. Nine songs, twenty-eight minutes, and it’s gone, leaving the old showbiz maxim to mind: always leave ‘em wanting more.

Category: CD Reviews

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