Lonely Tone/Playing in Traffic Records (label)
09 July 2012 (released)
29 July 2012
Rockpango is Los Lonely Boys fourth album and their first since 2009, and it’s been out for a year already in the US. They’ve been around sing 2003, sold shedloads of albums, are Grammy winners, toured with the Stones and collaborated with Willie Nelson and Carlos Santana. With that CV is there any surprise that the UK market may not be uppermost in their minds? No matter, the album’s here now.
Opening with American Idle, a lucid tale about the state of life in the USA, its dark grooves aren’t typical of the record. As the well named and arching sound of Fly Away, which has a touch of the Southern States about it shows this band are happy to experiment. Elsewhere there’s the funk of 16 Monkeys, and the touching string infused ballad of Road to Nowhere.
The title track is an old style shuffle blues rocker with a keyboard sound that takes it back to the 70s. Porn Star sounds as if it was composed in a hammock, with the rap by Kush added for a bet. The album closes with the optimistic and rousing Believe.
The performances from the brothers Garza are uniformly excellent, in particular Henry’s guitar work. While the influences are fairly obvious: ZZ Top, Santana, a touch of Skynryd, plus late 60s, early 70s blues rock, the album has an 80’s Journey MOR sheen to it that doesn’t seem to fit the music. But the main problem is that the variety of styles leaves the album sounding a little disjointed at times, with some of the songs just slipping past the listener. It"s not a bad album by any means, it just doesn"t grab you.