I hate Cork. I hate the way Cork people say ‘boy’. I hate the way they refer to Cork City (surely the worst of Ireland’s cities) as the ‘real capital’. ‘Real capital’ my hole, your pubs never stay open late. I hate the Peoples Republic of Cork shtick. I hate the belief some of the more delusional Corkonians have that they actually are genetically superior to the rest of the country. I hate Cork.
Of course my hatred of Cork is sometimes undermined by the absolute soundness of Cork people individually. It’s just when they’re in a big group, like at a GAA match, that the above is applicable. Still, I was fairly confident that Los Langeros, a Cork band whose very name has an annoying Cork phrase built into it, would push all the wrong buttons with me. But, amazingly, these purveyors of Goat Punk (their own, wonderfully-named, genre) have helped me along the road to recovery from my Cork intolerance.
Los Langeros have been around for a while, with a few albums and a few line-up changes along the way. But their latest record ‘This is Normal’ is the first time they’ve crossed my path. Tom Cruise has Renee Zellweger at ‘Hello’, Los Langeros had me at opening track ‘Granny’s Eyebrows’. This is great Pogues-tinged punk; riotous, angry, funny, debauched. And it continues for the rest of the album. Half the songs were made with that reviewers favourite couplet ‘short & sharp’ in mind. ‘Granny’s Eyebrows fits into that category with it’s Therapy?-style growled vocals. ‘Dolphino Latino’ is a Spanish-tinged instrumental that compares favourably with QOTSA’s ‘I Think I Lost My Headache’. This band already have a dedicated live following but, as a Los Langeros virgin, I was searching for their gig listings two tracks in; these are songs built for a wild live audience.
‘Chalk it Down’ opens with a sampled voice claiming that ‘Drinking in moderation is one of the most ridiculous statements ever made’. The remainder of the song agrees with this thought, forming a perfect soundtrack to a wild session. “Hairy Goat Boy’ follows in the same booze-soaked vein. ‘Stick to Your Species’ sounds like a classic show closer with the cry of ‘Inter-species love’ signaling the start of a proper rock-out that would surely escalate live. In fact, all the songs on this album could descend into a ten minute make-your-ears-bleed jam. Wisely though the band have reigned it in on the record. As much fun as they will no doubt have with these songs live the recorded versions are all as long as they need to be.
Some albums need time to be appreciated, some need the right setting or mood or an accompanying drink. This album doesn’t need any props or timeframe. One listen and you’ll want to go straight out to a gig, preferably a Los Langeros gig…even if it’s in Cork.