By Jennie Orton
Right at the onset with the rolling locomotion of opening track “The Breeze,” you can hear the myriad of influences at play in the self-titled debut by the American sextet Banditos. The twang of southern flavour is mixed with a dash of the polished pep of rockabilly alongside honkytonk urgency. Herein is a posse of jubilant instrumentalists playing off each other as though they were crammed onto a bar stage.
Banditos features callous-busting upright bass and the clean, yet incessant machine gunfire of the electric guitar. A feast of rhythm compliments the Southern Comfort gusto of Mary Richardson’s massive voice. The banjo and keys trickle and bounce throughout. This is the music that would greet you when entering that roadside dive covered in antlers that you nervously pull into after driving too long on the meandering Alberta Highway 43. Standout “Ain’t it Hard” has a confessional momentum, a down and out swagger, while still holding onto a multi-layered instrumental vibrancy. Its depth and gravitas are captivating and sexy. All told, Banditos is a dirty romp of an album, full of embraced vices and bold voices. It leaves the taste and smell of whisky all over the mic.Banditos