Los Infierno in the Devil's rumpus room

Los Infierno – Salvaje (Boss Hoss Records)

With a name roughly translated as The Hell, Los Infierno are a 5 piece from Mexico with a sleek line in the Devil’s music and a penchant for incredible hair. I could finish the review there and I would hope that at least half of you would check them out but for the sake of the other half of you, I will continue (you can thank me later).
                Los Infierno have taken heavy garage riffs, thick organ sounds and driving drums to create some fiercely intense rock’n’roll the likes of which we have all heard before from the Hives or the Animals. However, what I’ve never heard before is the beauty of rolled South American ‘R’ or the thrill of some loco shrieking ‘Ay-ay-ayyyyyeeeee’ over the top of a relentless snare rhythm and that’s what makes this album so much fun. Sure, you can draw comparisons with Mariachi El Bronx but this feels more authentic (the English words spoken are ‘Rock’n’Roll’ and that a universal language that we all speak) and more desperate. It’s as though Los Infierno are ploughing a lone, purist furrow and they know it might never bring them stardom but it’s what they’ve got to do so they are making the most of it.
                Stand out moments include the shouty, gang brilliance of ‘Soy El Rock N Roll’, the hypnotic riffage of album opener ‘Infierno’ and the irresistibly perky ‘Nada Que Perder’ (Nothing to Lose, to the non-Spanish speakers out there). ‘El Entierro de los Gatos’ (The Burial of Cats) is a melodic punk track that my imagination tells me is written as a funeral march for a much missed mog but then my imagination is often wrong on these things. The album closes with an extra version of earlier track ‘Todos Estos Anos’ (All These Years) this time featuring Erwin Flores, founder member of Peruvian 60s rockers Los Saicos. I would love to pretend that I knew of the Saicos before and that I could wax lyrical but I have never heard of them and it’s only after a visit to Wikipedia that I find them to be one of the most influential bands on the development of rock’n’roll in Latin America! Who knew? Well, we all know now and on the evidence of Los Infierno’s garage-punk-surf-rockabilly-psyche rock we should all have a closer listen to some of the music coming out of Latin America’s underground scene if we want to find a few hidden gems. Right, you can thank me now......De nada....