Album Review – Banditos “Banditos” (Tonk / Rock n’ Roll)

BS231_Banditos_Cover_1500_1By Dustin Griffin
5/5 Dragons
Review from Vandala Magazine; July 2015 Edition
Read Interviews, Reviews and more in Julys’ issue FREE HERE

The fact that Banditos hail from Nashville, Tennessee (they are originally from Atlanta) already gives them a badge of authenticity that every band who doesn’t set up camp in that musical history-rich city is lacking. The fact that they play a compendium of music that sounds as if it has taken a little chunk of every era of that city’s musical backbone and thrown it into a big melting pot of classic-modern, heel kicking rock n’ roll, just adds to the fact. But don’t take it from me. Check out the wonderfully written, wonderfully summed up description of the band’s sound from their record label’s (Bloodshot Records) website on the band:

“With the rugged power of a flashy Super Chief locomotive, the Banditos’ self-titled debut album bodaciously appropriates elements of ‘60s blues-fused acid rock, ZZ Top’s jangly boogie, garage punk scuzz a la Burger Records, the Drive-By Truckers’ yawp, the populist choogle of CCR, Slim Harpo’s hip shake baby groove, gut bucket Fat Possum hill country mojo and the Georgia Motherf**king Satellites. From backwoods bluegrass, to slinky nods to Muscle Shoals soul and unexpected bits of doo-wop sweetness, the Banditos recall many, but sound like no one but themselves.”

The key line here is the last one, because the band are truly an original, yet you can hear the ghosts of music’s past in every note they play, stomp, or sing. And, most importantly, they play it like they mean it. The musicianship is sharp. It pushes and pulls at itself in organized chaos. As if it’s trying to sound sloppy, but with every lick purposefully placed.

Such is the intensity of the band, and such the belief in the music that they play, that even slower songs, like ‘No Good’ or the atmospheric closer ‘Preachin’ To The Choir’ are laced with a red hot intensity. It will raise both goosebumps and asses out of chairs.

And if the slow songs are barnstormers in their own right, the fast songs are positively wall crackers. The rockabilly swagger of ‘Cry Baby Cry’. The outlaw cowpunk of ‘Still Sober (After All These Beers)’. The fuzzy blues jump of album opener ‘The Breeze’ which, if released by The Black Keys, would be a #1 hit, all converge on the listener’s eardrums with a wild abandon and passionate glee. This is music that takes pleasure in losing the listener in its wall of sound.

And if the slow songs are barnstormers in their own right, the fast songs are positively wall crackers. The rockabilly swagger of ‘Cry Baby Cry’. The outlaw cowpunk of ‘Still Sober (After All These Beers)’. The fuzzy blues jump of album opener ‘The Breeze’ which, if released by The Black Keys, would be a #1 hit, all converge on the listener’s eardrums with a wild abandon and passionate glee. This is music that takes pleasure in losing the listener in its wall of sound.

And putting butter on the toast is two of the best (and best matched) vocalists I’ve heard in many, many years. Timothy Steven Corey Parsons attacks each track with a gritty, desperate delivery, whether quiet, or soft. And Mary Beth Richardson is a perfect foil. Her unbelievable pipes are equal parts Patsy Cline and Amy Winehouse and she spits and pleads from somewhere within the very depths of her soul.

The entire band, in fact, are an assemblage of top notch musicians. Some classically trained, some who made their bones in back bar punk bands or honkey tonk tributes. Bottom line: this is one of the best sounding bands Bloodshot has to offer.

So while their self titled debut drops and they hit the road behind it, do yourself a favour and pick it up. Then cross your fingers that this band graces a musical venue near you. A night spent in dim lights, thick smoke and hillbilly music with these six rebels of rock, will be a night to remember. Hear you me.

www.banditosband.com 
https://www.facebook.com/BANDITOSBAND
https://twitter.com/banditosband
https://instagram.com/banditosband/

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