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Los Straitjackets at Hukilau 2009

Fans of Los Straitjackets might have first come for the novelty, but they've stayed for the sound — a furious instrumental assault of twangy surf, hard rockabilly, and psychedelic garage. Oh, the Nashville band still sports the Mexican wrestler masks and Chuck Taylors, and it still knows a marketing angle. (Can you say, "A wipe-out instrumental cover of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'"?) But despite the band's image being packaged with luchador trading cards, the shtick takes a back seat on 2009's The Further Adventures of Los Straitjackets, a dozen two-minute instrumentals (and one 3:43 epic) that scream by like Link Wray jet-fueled for a quarter-mile primitive rock showdown. If you can't dance to Los Straitjackets, get out of the way, or prepare to be surf-punk body-slammed.


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