Los Pacaminos

The oddest mash-up of the year, discounting that Missy Elliott-Joy Division joint (roach, actually) that hasn't left the 10-disc changer since May: Paul Young (yup, that one--no parlez?) fronts a Tex-Mex confab consisting of Brits, which rhymes with "shits" and with good goddamned reason. The road to hell is paved with copies of this band's first full-lengther, which isn't dreadful as much as it's unfathomable as much as it's un-friggin'-necessary; that sound you hear isn't the accordion wheezing (and coughing and hacking) but Doug Sahm spinning in his longneck-Pearl coffin.

Young, who sings "black" even when playing "brown" and always winding up white as the driven snow, likely figures this the quirky alternacomeback he's been craving since he stopped conning Joe Jackson fans with lite-rock covers of lite-soul Hall & Oates. But, really, it's the novelty that keeps on giving you headaches long after it's been popped out of the CD player and turned into a beer coaster. Two songs about margaritas ("Raised on Margaritas," "Two Margaritas") are two too many, unless you've downed four and rendered yourself incapable of giving two, you know, damns; and when every other song sounds like a Texas Tornados rip, you're left feeling ripped off. Don't damn it for being inauthentic (never bothered most of you about that Yankee con artist Jerry Jeff Walker, never bothered me about, oh, Oasis), just for being as flat, nutritious and tasty as old beer.

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