Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pinche Gringo makes the blues bizarre via a cassette tape

Artist: Pinche Gringo
Title: S/T cassette
Label: ZAP Cassettes
Release date: October 2009

One-man garage rocker Pinche Gringo, who has made several trips to Atlanta in recent years and briefly was in Knoel and the S.S. with 3/4ths of the original Trashcans, mixes sped-up nods to the Rolling Stones and slower Southern blues tunes on this, his first ZAP Cassette.

"Pinche's Lament", which is featured twice as there is an alternate version toward the end of the tape, is the standout that should be the A-side to a future 7" or even the anchor of a more polished full-length release. It, like many Black Lips classics, is a song that on the surface sounds like contained chaos but beneath a layer or two is a beautifully-crafted modern garage rock song. There's lots of cool stuff going on at once, from entrancing hooks and riffs to electronic effects in the alternate cut that kinda sound like a persistent swarm of swamp flies.

Pinche Gringo also slows things down a notch ("Hang Up"), makes psyched-out blues-rock a little more bizarre thanks to random samples that sound like they might be from an anti-drug video ("Friday on Izagaga"), and passes the microphone to The Lovely Sarita for an Appalacian-flavored singalong ("Space Girl"). He even teams up with his Knoel and the SS pals for a version of "Mental Rehab".

This one is definitely worth picking up if you still have a cassette player. If you don't have one, get one because with cassettes being so cheap to make and fun to own, I fully expect to see more and more new releases on this seldom-used format. In the past year here in Atlana G.G. King made a demo cassette, Balkans and The Subsonics released a live show bootleg, and Jack and Alex from the Barberries and Trashcans began helping a friend in Washington D.C. with ZAP Cassettes. Hell, there may even be a Magnums cassette released sometime in the not too distant future.

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