If Robert Rodriquez plans on a return to Mexico for yet another sequel to El Mariachi, he better have the Gypsy Pistoleros’ number. I can see it now, the opening frame is a shoddy bar, where the chongo is piss-warm and the bartender is missing a fistful of teeth.
The Gypsy’s swagger in, slow motion, of course. They look like leather-clad outlaw trash, fresh off the sunset strip, surrounded by the perplexed stares of the locals. They jump up onstage and run through a quick sound check, while spitting back spanglish insults at the threatening patrons. The amps and microphones spark and pop from the frayed wiring, not many rock bands play here.
The Gypsy’s open with a straight punk number laced with a funky flamenco drum and bass line called “Switchblade Closer.”
The set is furious and hard edged, and some of the vatos at the bar grab at their ears and scowl toward the stage. By the end of the set, there’s a dead silence from the audience who don’t quite understand what they just heard. Then, an uproar of flying beer bottles and whoops of approval, even a discharged pistol here and there. The locals like what they hear.
From the opening Santana-esque shrieks of “Crazed Gypsy Girls Lair,” I too, was hooked on The Gypsy Pistoleros, whose name sounds like homage to the Sex Pistols and “Johnny Rotten” Lydon.
It’s hard to put a finger on Singer Lee J’s vocals, which I think is a testament to the band’s originality. Lee J is a healthy amalgamation of Johnny Rotten, Vince Neil, and Tito Puente, coupled with the screaming backup vocals it’s like a kick to the sternum in the mosh-pit, but it feels good.
Mark Westwood is a master of the somber minor tones of Spanish guitar and shredding heavy metal, it shows on the track Crazed Gypsy Girls Lair.
His chops are really shown with the scorching solo on Switchblade Closer. The drums and bass of Txema Casalo and Ian Walker (respectively) are the driving force behind each of the three tracks I heard. The super up-tempo bass lines and heavy crash symbols are really what give the songs their speed and intensity.
Some of the tempos are so fast it feels like Mark and Txema are pushing the tempo up without variation just because they can. It’s like the bass and drums are leading the song by a hook to the nostrils with machine gun rapidity.
In a nutshell, what the Gypsy Pistoleros have done is taken a fat vein of punk rock and injected it with a hit of Spanish flamenco, the result of which is a meth bender that will leave you naked and disoriented in the front yard.
The Gyspy Pistelero’s new album drops in June, but you can rocket over to LCFK at http://LCKFmusic.com, where you can download two full mp3 tracks.