Release Date: May 19, 2017
Record label: Yep Roc
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Garage Rock Revival, Instrumental Rock, Surf Revival
Having backed up Nick Lowe on his "Quality Holiday Revue" tour, masked instrumental rockers Los Straitjackets understand the virtues of The Greatest Living Englishman's songbook better than the average person. And while most people discussing Lowe's work focus on the wit and wisdom of his lyrics, the man can write a superior melody, and Los Straitjackets offer eloquent proof on their 2017 album, What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Los Straitjackets. This set offers a baker's dozen tunes from Lowe's catalog, ranging from early rockers like "Shake & Pop" and "Heart of the City" to smoother, more contemplative recent numbers like "I Read a Lot" and "Checkout Time," all interpreted in Los Straitjackets' trademark twangy style, borrowing from decades of instrumental rock styles and with no vocals to get in the way.
On the surface, an instrumental tribute to the music of Nick Lowe seems like an unusual project. Lowe—for my money, one of the greatest, most underappreciated singer/songwriters of the last 40 years—is known primarily as a wordsmith of the highest order. So why are Los Straitjackets, an impeccable surf/rockabilly instrumental combo, paying vocal-free tribute to the man? For one thing, they've worked with Lowe in the past, backing him on a recent tour.
It's safe to say that after three tours supporting iconic U.K. singer-songwriter Nick Lowe, no other band knows his compositions as intimately as this veteran Nashville-bred quartet. America's favorite Mexican wrestling masked surf/twang/pop and roots-rocking instrumental combo was encouraged by Lowe himself to totally rethink these 13 songs they cover from his deep catalog on their 16 th studio release.