Los Difuntos – Self Titled

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews

Los Difuntos

Self Titled - Nickel and Dime Records

When I saw Los Difuntos‘s Self-Titled debut I was immediately both excited and ambivalent. By the looks of the record I assumed one of two things would happen. I would either love it because it would be a great street punk style album or I would hate it because it would be a hardcore album from the likes of The Bronx. Turns out I was wrong as Los Difuntos aren’t like either – but I do still love it.

The record starts off with The Rise of the Deceased, an instrumental intro that lasts a minute and a bit. It builds up slowly before you get a ghoulish howl effect on top of a thundering stand-up bass. Yes, it was a psychobilly introduction and nothing could excite me more. But unlike bands such as Tiger Army, Nekromantix or The MatadorsLos Difuntos don’t restrain themselves to the psychobilly sound, structure or content. In fact, sometimes it would be hard pressed to even call them that for anything other than the eerie tone.

You hear the difference right away on the first full-blown track, Lucy. It still has its rockabilly roots but also has a strong street punk sense to it that could be due to the appearance of Matt Freeman fromRancid. In essence, that sensation of rockabilly merged with strong street-punk dominates the record. Story of Leon’s Downfall may start off with a country twang but soon explodes with intensity and energy. Many of the songs feature that stark contrast in speed and momentum. Take Now I’m Gone for instance. It starts off with an acoustic guitar but soon introduces the first gang vocals sing along of the album and then suddenly cuts it all back down again for the final two verses.

You Don’t Know Me starts with a blood curling scream and romping bass line and really brings in the rockabilly influence but with a venomous anger. Memories leaves most of that rockabilly style behind and instead goes for a more punk rock feel like Left Alone while Shining sounds exactly like a Tiger Army tune, with “wo-ahs” and all. Lies in Disguise on the other hand is actually a ska song with horns, a massive upstroke and a breakneck punk rock chorus.

In a nutshell Los Difuntos seems to be an amalgamation of Tiger Army, The Matadors, Street Dogs, Left Alone and Keepin’ 6 occasionally.

Lyrically, they rarely disappoint either. While there’s never anything mind blowing, the songs are all worthy enough to be sung back without feeling stupid and some are actually right on the ball. There’s a tribute to bands that inspire them on Inspiration (You’re my inspiration like yours is Strummer/You keep my heart going like the drummer keeps the beat to the music). Lies in Disguise is an angry song for anyone who was just dumped and You Don’t Know Me attacks any shit talkers. Poseur Josh is self-explanatory (He’s a 21 year old spoiled bitch / he’s a punk rocker for a month or two) as the other tracks often talks about lives lost to drugs. Each song is actually quite well written and catchy enough to get you singing along with them; add in the rockabilly vibe and Los Difuntos have delivered an surprisingly entertaining release.