Los Straitjackets - What’s So Funny About Peace, Love And…album review

US instrumentalists aim Lowe

Cover art for Los Straitjackets - What’s So Funny About Peace, Love And…album

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We’re told that after touring extensively as Nick Lowe’s backing band, masked Nashville surf instrumentalists Los Straitjackets couldn’t help but ask the question: “What would Nick Lowe’s songs sound like as instrumentals?”

The short answer, judging by these 13 instrumentals, is “The Shadows”. Because if you’re a fan of the more raucous, high-octane twang-stompers this band are best known for, you might find this a strangely sedate, mid-tempo affair.

Their treatment of his two biggest hits – the (almost) title track and Cruel To Be Kind – is slow, sweet and inventive. But let’s not kid ourselves – for all its kitsch decoration and retro associations, you can leave your surfboard in the closet and file this firmly under ‘easy listening’.

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock