An Instrumental Revival

Los Straitjackets offer a throwback sound, but they’re no novelty act.

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Looking back four decades to the golden era of rock and roll instrumentals, when Duane Eddy and the Ventures roamed free,
Los Straitjackets might seem a novelty act, except for one thing: This quartet is very good. While vibrant surf licks highlight “Midnight in Salerno,” there’s plenty of variety, from the smoky “Time Bomb,” suggesting a sleazy nightclub, to “San Diego Shutdown,” a booming drum showcase, to the exotic “Jungleaya” — tiki torches, anyone? Los Straitjackets make even the corniest sounds seem hip.


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