by Craig Regala
It was ’87 or ’88 when I wore my Los Gringos “Fuck You, we’re From Texas” tee shirt to see The Screaming Tribesmen, an a-ok rocker band from Australia. They were opening for UB40, whose audience was direly rockless. Now, the shirt’s graphic was the dancing skeleton of a Porky little pig with a sombrero and the aforementioned verbiage. The show needed it, I provided it. Yr welcome.
The music on this CD is a single I heard from ’87 and an LP from ’92 I have not. Similar to the Hickoids (same label, too) in irreverence to gloss and reverence to rockin’ the house, and dissimilar in that the rootage is less country and more a groove ride underpinned with a flow germinating from gritty ’60’s-’70s funky rock, a bong hit of Peter Tosh, and plenty a chunky riff-a-rama. NO, not “funk-metal,” although they’d’ve had no problem playing with early Chili Peppers or the wonderful punk-funk of The Big Boys. Word Up , ya’ know ?
Loco Gringos were a rock and roll force, goddamit! This is what “alternative rock” was about. Not much difference between these guys and say, the Meat Puppets, aside from more defined production and less sombreros. I mean if Fugazi had smoked dope and drank beers and wrecked cars and slept with plenty of gals and grown up in Texas, they mighta been Just Like This! Alternative History: It can turn yr ass any which way but loose.
Herein you get plenty of tasty, chunky riffs, chants, and songs mainly about comestibles all smeared with gobs of guitar-as-melted-cheese riding fully-rounded rock tunes. Anyone who likes stuff that wasn’t on local “rock” radio but sure coulda been snuck onto a show playing the zone between Zeppelin and Fishbone would have a good time with Loco Gringos. Stir it up with a blown apart “Pretty Much Everything Got Broke” party ethic and great tunes like the first single (promo says The Reverend Horton Heat has covered) and you really woulda enjoyed yourself. I hope every city had a couple units like this. In Columbus, Ohio, we had The Royal Crescent Mob and Pica Huss. Never heard of’m? Sure didn’t have anything to do with quality. Now dig this and go dig up some of your own. Caveat: I was drinking cold gin when I wrote this.