Fabulosos Calavera (1997) by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs

Categories: 1997 and Music.

In 1997, I fell in love with Grosse Pointe Blank, the only romantic comedy that was violent enough for my 15 year old soul to feel okay about liking. I liked it so much I went out and bought the soundtrack. (Well, the first soundtrack as there’s a Volume 2 I never purchased.) It was the one of the few contemporary albums I owned at the time (everything else was Beatles). On that CD was a song called “Matador” by this band.

I don’t think “Matador” made an impression on me in the movie, at least the first time, but the song sure did; I had never heard anything like it. I soon resolved to listen to their albums.

But I never did actually buy any of them, whether it was because I was also attempting to buy a million other records or because Argentinian music is hard to find in Toronto. Either way, I wish I would have, because I would have loved this band in, like, 1999, or 2000, when I was beginning the height of my phase of listening to weird shit because it was weird.

These guys create this immense, vibrant diverse sound from numerous influences. To put it in terms some North Americans might understand, imagine early Mr. Bungle, up the ska influence by a factor of 25, downplay the Zappa influence a lot (and focus on actual songs!), minimize the metal influence too (though not entirely), replace the free jazz with Latin jazz and big band, and remove the video games and porn. That might kind of give you a vague idea of what this band is like. They are far more conventional than Bungle, but that also makes them much more accessible… and fun.

This is their only album I’ve heard and so I have no idea how it compares to their other albums, including the one with “Matador.” But if they’re anything like this, I need to listen to them. This is a band full of energy, passion, and the kind of restless imagination I adore. The ballads work less well than everything else, but I’ll still take this over so much other music.

Great.

8/10

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