El Boogie Rock
:: Crater - Narciso ::
So it’s come to this. I’m sitting down about to write about Spanish boogie rock. Well, I had no other plans tonight anyway. I picked this up from the now sadly demised Record Rover on Venice, which had a stunning collection of odd vinyl that seemed to get even odder when you started going through the 45’s. Obviously once again the cover sucked me in.
I don’t know which I saw first -- the logo, which looks like the lesbian symbol imprisoned in a wicked Tonka chastity belt, or the band photo. Either way, the stoner Han Solo and the gentleman on the far left who is the unfortunate melding of Mick Fleetwood and Inspector Clouseau were just too much to pass up.
The A side, “Rock Mama”, has a title that only Dirk Diggler could love, and is just bad, bad rock. “Narciso” however, cooks. I don’t care much for the singer, who sounds like a bar band belter at worst, and Lenny Kravitz at best, but it pretty much matches the music. Other than the rather tired device of starting off the song like it’s the ending, and the few parts during the verse where the bass skitters off into spastic disco-era ELO territory, it rocks all the way through. Just when the clomping, stomping beat might start to lull you a bit, a nice change in the chorus with almost Zappaesque riffing over a stop-start drum part jerks you back awake. The solo is hot and sloppy, and unlike most hot and sloppy things, doesn’t overstay its welcome. Narciso is just Spanish for Narcissus, which means it's either a song about someone in love with themself, or...it's a song about a daffodil.
The only info on the band I have comes from the single itself. There's a pretty ridiclous press release included that at the very least tipped me off to the fact that the Spanish language has its own dumb rock cliches. It came out in 1979 on Chapa-Discos (check out their awesome Crumblike Coca-Cola bottle cap logo above), which evidently was a hard rock and prog label.