Los Straightjackets is an indie band known for their Mexican wrestling masks and their love affair with retro-surf sounds. While earlier records are playful forays into the genre, The Velvet Touch of... (their third full-length release) is the result of endless touring and the confidence that comes with it. This time out, while still reverential of the past (their music honors the greats like Dick Dale and the Ventures), they wildly color the mix, with rewarding results. From the grinding swagger of "Rockola" to the blitzkrieg of buzzing guitars in "Hornet's Nest," Velvet Touch should appeal to rock fans of all persuasions. A hint of world music drifts through tracks like "Tabouli," with its sensuous Middle-Eastern feel, and the brassy, Tex-Mex flavored "Tijuana Boots." The band brazenly turns Louis Prima's "Sing, Sing, Sing," into a swinging surfabilly number, and the Telstar-treatment of "My Heart Will Go On" (yes, from Titanic) is a showstopper, played with a keen awareness of Hollywood melodrama. (The best part is that they seem completely sincere.) This is an outstanding rock record, perfect for a dose of fun anytime. --Lorry Fleming

Track Listing:

1. Kawanga!
2. Rockula
3. Close to Champaign
4. Hornet's Nest
5. My Heart Will Go On
6. Tempest
7. Tijuana Boots
8. Sing, Sing, Sing
9. Tabouli
10. Sterno
11. State Fair
12. All That Giltters

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