Sunday, May 03, 2009

Jon Ulecia and Cantina Bizarro - Last Night Dream

Alumni of this label's Nikki Sudden tribute, and native of the country that make the best boots alongside well-stitched and seamed slivers of roots music (that's Spain that is), rides Ulecia and his evocatively titled band. Tilting through majestic ghostly twilights and shimmering dawns the lonely street-lit serenades of the flamenco-scented Under The Tree, sinister train ride through mystery, temptation, salvation and seven carriages of sin on Empty Bottle Of Wine and Desire And Disease and malevolent mariachi Various Names recall the rockabilly saunter and Tex-Mex swing of Ulecia's linguistic compatriots across the oceans. With a wonderful sense of a noir film scripted by Tom Waits (indeed there's many whispers of Waits' loveliest asides here, like Raindogs Hang Down Your Head or Blind Love) in conjunction with the Coen Brothers tumbleweed slips past as tumblers of tequila slide along the bar towards you followed by the garotte-ready stares of the locals under a sultry, sweat and adrenalin condensed atmosphere as air-conditioning blades whirl ominously. The delightful raunch n' rousters Rock'n'Roll's About and Stuck To The Dancefloor blast your hat into the air and shootround your heels like Dave Alvin and his barrio, bronco and bar-room Blasters boys, all with a distinctive vocal veering n' vying between debonair Bryan Ferry and mumbling Joey Ramone. The blue-collar ballad Still Fooling Me is perhaps the most telegraphed but only insofar as it's something The Stones have been pathetically perspiring over for decades, instead passing off bilge like Waiting On A Friend and Fool To Cry as worthy. Put simply, this ain't too many country miles, dusty mountain passes or grimy back alleys away from Richard hawley's currently acclaimed Yorkshire Orbison.
Stu Gibson

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