Brooklyn Slide - Los Straitjackets

from the single Brooklyn Slide b/w Wrong Way Inn (2013)

How does a band gain notoriety in the surf guitar genre?  I believe that there are three crucial elements.

The first is selecting the right name for the band.  With most of the great surfin' names already taken, you need to get a little crazy.  The Bambi Molesters are an excellent example.  The second is to have a differentiating stage persona.  A bunch of middle aged guys with telecasters resting on their bellies just won't cut it.  You need to be different.  Lastly, you need to have serious musical chops.

Los Straitjackets are a band that have been recognized as surf gods for the past 25 years.  It starts with their name that sounds like the house band in a Tijuana dive bar.  This is reenforced by the musicians all sporting Mexican professional wrestling masks.  But most importantly, they sound fantastic.

Last month, the band released the single Brooklyn Slide, which was originally released on 2012's album Jet Set.   I dig this song for all the reasons you would dig a surf tune.  The drumming catches my ear first.  It is steady with an unexpected ra-ta-ta-ta-ta hook that I trigger off of.  Then their are the two guitars, each with a different tone.  One is fat and modern, the other is classic reverb reminiscent of The Ventures.  These two guitar voices play off each other well, keeping the listener engaged.  It is masterful stuff.

All the other important stuff is also on display.  Great songwriting, clever arrangements, quality production, tight band interaction, and superb attention to tone.  These details help set them apart.

If you ever have a chance to see Los Straitjackets live, make the effort.  You will have a fun night filled with great music.

Click Here to watch Brooklyn Slide performed live at City Winery in NYC.  This is one of my favorite venues.

Click Here to watch Brooklyn Slide performed live while joined by The World Famous Pontani Sisters.  Hot stuff!!!