Unida Cantina...this is not the Refreshments your mamma served you

Newly released from Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Unida Cantina.  This is the latest collection of thirteen songs from the former front man of the Refreshments. When suggested that I review this new CD, how could I resist to review a work from a guy and band that had the most obvious lyric “the world is full of stupid people” from Bandidos.  I had to give them a boost.  OK.  I was under pressure from a relative who knows these guys and is helping pedal their tequila brand, Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine. (Click Link For Website) Ed Note:  We originally called this Rocky Point….my apologies, going too fast here and I did not have the Moonshine to slow me down. Nope. I have not had any, but maybe Jason can hook me up in exchange for this stunning review.  Thing is, I listened to the tracks carefull to get a solid dose of the band

Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers

Thing is, I really liked this CD. The sound is solid, crisp and not overly complicated. It delivers a most listen-able record on nearly every track. In some cases, you would swear the main influence of this band is Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  I have no idea if this is the case, but you hear glimpses of this throughout the music.  In one particular cut, Empty Highway, the opening riff sounds like your are diving straight into Petty’s “Last Dance with Mary Jane”.  The rest of the song varies enough to keep them out of court, and is decent, but you get the point.

Clyne’s voice is prominent and strong.  I do not capture him as one of the greatest voices, but it is strong and featured throughout.  Vocal complexity is largely missing from this CD.  There are few harmonies, and when done, the harmonies, though mixed well, are fairly soft compared to the lead vocal.  Guitar work in this effort is functional. Again, nothing overly fancy.  Leads tend to be resolved to the music at hand, not laced with ugly egos, they fit well into the structure of the song.

The sound is very consistent throughout.  Their music is considered rock, but I consider them a bit alternative.  You cannot escape the obvious Latin influence as well. The title track is an instrumental we could have done without, Spanish flamico style. Other cuts like the listen-able “Dinero” lend to the theme. Again, this is a crisp clean sound that is driven by a well played bass part on most cuts. The structures of the songs are fairly rigid, verse, chorus with hook, and bridge, but there is nothing wrong with this.  Several songs have great commercial appeal. Now in this market of fragmented music styles and over difficulty getting mass airplay unless you are hip hop or some other equally related genre, I am not certain how one gets good airplay except true work of mouth.  Such will need to be the case for Clyne and his band mates. They tour often.  And considering what I heard and reviewed herein, I am considering seeing them in a small club in Dallas on July 9. The stronger songs on this CD is “All Over the Radio” and “Go with the Flow”.  Add these to your iPod.  But for God’s sake, do not miss adding “Just Got High”. The best cut on the CD.  No I do not care about the title, it is just a great song, well crafted and extremely good. Weaker efforts are “Maria”, the previously mentioned title track instrumental and “Love is the Road”       You Can Click the Bold Title to the right to hear “Just Got High”.  It will download to your computer in MP4 format, then click to play. Everyone needs a toke now and then. 10 Just Got High

On a scale of 10 I give this 8.5. This is a great effort that unfortunately will not get a wide appeal, but really deserves to be heard

iPod Do’s:  If you are too cheap to buy the entire CD

  • Just Got High
  • All Over the Radio
  • Heaven on a Paper Plate
  • Go With the Flow
  • Small World

iPod Don’ts

  • Maria
  • Unida Cantina
  • Love Is The Road

The rest?  You decide

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