Words El Jefe.
I’ve always been a sucker for cool rockabilly and surf sounds. Swing and garage punk too. La Bastard pillage these tombs of musical history with wild abandon. They’re the love child of Johnny Burnette and Nancy Sinatra who has OD’d on twangy surf guitars, jungle drums and a death rattle bass grind. Don’t get me wrong, they’re creating the La Bastard sound by doing this, not merely imitating their influences. And that sound is a blend of styles that’s been brewed and bbq’d into their own raunchy brand. They cover a lot of ground with their songwriting too, happy to show that this brand isn’t a one trick pony. From crooning blues to flat out rock n roll, it’s kind of hard to nail them down for too long. Here’s just a few of the highlights.
Ooh La La Bastard starts off slow, with the croony swing tune Beaten Down. Vocalist Anna Lienhop’s voice is a focal point, with her sweet melodies and silky tones.
Get Up, Get Out is a musical drag race in a hot rod Ford.
The instrumental tune, Timorese Ninja is Bo Diddly with a dirty punk rock beat, driven hard by Julia Watt’s wild drumming.
Call Of The Wild creeps in to the frame with a simple beat and a growling bass riff. The guitar jangles along with Lienhop, who is at her most sultry, before busting out for the chorus. Great use of feedback too.
The closer, Stranger In the Night is a straight rockabilly rumble, with gritty, shimmering guitar work and a 1-2 kick drum punch. The awesome breakdown towards the end of the song has guitarist Ben Murphy lashing out with a perfect slash of wild, reverb-driven guitar noise and a sexy rhythmic throb.
Start to finish on this LP, these dudes play it like they mean it, love it and will live it ‘til they die. They throw their (collective) heart and soul into the songs, and have a rabid energy and gang mentality. Overall, La Bastard could, or maybe should be the house band in a Dave Lynch film, supplying us with the soundtrack to the next surreal freak scene before sliding away into the shadows.