A couple of weeks ago, I loaned a friend of mine my copy of Molotov's
2003 release Dance And Dense Denso, which as you faithful
readers know, was my favorite record of last year. And those who
know me personally know that I don't really loan out my music
sometimes things end up missing. Thus was the
case for this record
and Terry's a great friend of mine!
I was starting to stress, jonesin' for newer Molotov (now
have all their records, but Dance
is definitely the
best) when what happens to walk in my door
the new Molotov
record, Con Todo Respeto.
The first surprise was the fact that there was a new record
mean, these guys are one of my favorite bands of the recent years,
and I try to keep up on what they're up to. Secondly, Con Todo
Respeto is a covers record! Yep, you heard me right. Instead
of following up the critically acclaimed Dance
new material, the guys dig into some great covers. Now those of
you who know Molotov's stuff shouldn't be too surprised at their
turn to a "covers" record
you've heard their mutation
of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" (titled "Rap
Soda y Bohemia") for a tribute record, right? Well we get
more of the same fun, innovation, and re-working prowess that
made that reworked tune so special. And on top of that, no form
of music is spared from their twisting and turning
to rap, to disco, to Mexican favorites, to eighties cheese-pop.
Sometimes all these elements collide in one tune!
The album leads off with "Amateur", a vibrant single
that's a re-working of Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus".
Buoyed by a bass line reminiscent of Led Zep's "Whole
Lot Of Love", the band pokes fun at themselves here as well
changing of the title refrain points to an inside joke in the
band, according to guitarist Tito Fuentes: "[It] is
a prank that we use every time a guitar is muted just because
a switch is off, or every time stupid little things like this
we're always singing 'Amateur, amateur'." Yep,
Molotov's humor is still as forefront as usual. Disco gets slaughtered
with a fun take of Lipps, Inc.'s "Designer Music"
("Diseno Rolas"). As soon as the vocals get going, you'll
recognize it. On the other end of the spectrum, punk rock gets
a Mexican influenced version of The Misfits' "I Turned
Into A Martian" ("Marciano"). The diddling guitar
line and staggered beats give it a new life, complete with a spoken
word breakdown thrown in for good measure. On the Misfits topic,
you could swear that you are hearing Danzig and friends
come back from the past with the reworking of the Beastie Boys
classic "Girls" ("Chavas"). Gone are the plinky
keyboard sounds and stupid behavior of the NYC boys, replaced
with a good ol' sixties surf-punk and creepingly "Danzig"
vocals. This one is fun. But the boys do keep a couple of other
tunes fairly straight-forward: The translation of Gil Scott-Heron's
classic protest tune "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"
is kept very respectful (writer's note: I only understand bits
of Spanish, so if any lyrical disrespect is present, I didn't
catch it.). The other nugget left fairly untweeked is the Trio
classic "Da Da Da", complete with the Casio keyboard
Now, it's a bit harder for me to compare some of the Mexican/Latin
artists that are covered on the record, but that doesn't mean
that you listeners will feel left out on the fun. "Perro
Negro Granjero" takes the lyrics from a tune by Three
Souls In My Mind and lays them over the classic swamp boogie
of ZZ Top's "La Grange". "Aguela" transforms
The Clash's "Magnificent Seven" bass line to
carry Vico C's "Mi Abuela". Then just to keep
the fun rolling in, and get this, we get snippets of Young
M.C.'s "Bust A Move" thrown into the chorus. Re-workings
of La Sonora Santanera ("La Boa A Go-Go") and
Chico Che y La Crisis ("Quen Pon-Ponk") bolster
the Latin music side of the equation. A final kicker is all of
the "radio spots" that pepper the record, a couple of
which are courtesy of Money Mark.
As usual with a Molotov record, unless you speak Spanish you
will miss some of the jokes, bawdy humor, dirty fun and mayhem
that they have been loved and chastised for all over the Latin
music community. Don't let this fact dissuade you fellow Spanish-illiterates:
The record cruises and pulses with fun, the usual stellar musicianship,
and the unique sounds that their dual bass, guitar, and drum
format always produce. And, as usual, everyone gets a chance
to take the mic and add their own personal flavors to the record.
I thought I had picked a winner of "Best record of the
year", but by the time the balloting is complete, there
may be a winner that just so happens to sneak in at the last
minute. You'll have to wait 'til the end of the year for that.
In the meantime, get yourself some fun, and get your hands on
some Molotov. (Oh, BTW
I did finally get my CD back from
my friend, as if you care!)
2. Diseno Rolas
4. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised ("La Revo")
5. La Boa A Go-Go
8. Quen Pon-Ponk
9. Da Da Da
10. Perro Negro Granjero
12. Mi Aguita Amarilla
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