The Further Adventures Of Los Straitjackets

When members of the Los Straitjackets say their new record, The Further Adventures of the Los Straitjackets, is "all over the place," they certainly mean it.

From the raunchy romp of album opener "Cal Speed," the hand clap boogie of "Fortune Cookie," the woozy vibrato of "Catalina" and on through to the flirtatious whimsy of "Noctural Twist" - loosely inspired by the 1930s-era jazz standard "Harlem Nocturne" - the new record is a return to form for the band. After spending the last couple of years making records with Kaiser George (Twist Party) and Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos, rockabilly belter Big Sandy, and East L.A. legend Little Willie G. (Rock En Espanol Vol. 1) the band found itself missing doing what it does best - and that's making straight up instrumental rock and roll.

"It's definitely heavier - more garage-y than our other records," says guitarist Danny Amis. "It's definitely a little more of a punk record than before. I think it's reflective of the fact that we needed to get back to that."

To write and record the new album - its first record of original instrumentals since 2003's Supersonic Guitars in 3-D - the band spent a lot of time listening to its heroes, including Link Wray, and the Ventures. In addition to those artists, guitarist Eddie Angel listened to other bands that may be less likely to be associated with the Los Straitjackets, including Led Zeppelin and The Cramps. He described the process of listening to records for inspiration adding, "Then we drank a lot of scotch, also for inspiration."

"We never try to be meaningful," Angel says. "We're an anecdote to that. Our goal is to bring fun to the party."

The 13 new tracks on The Further Adventures of the Los Straitjackets will definitely inject a lot of fun into any party. Bassist Pete Curry, who produced the record along with manager Jake Guralnick, said he was shooting for a more straight-up rock sound on the new record, as opposed to the surf-inspired tunes on earlier ones. The record was recorded at Curry's LA studio, the Powow Fun Room, which was named after an Orange County bar.

"The band's been going a long time, I think it's important to try and keep stuff fresh on some levels. We kind of consciously wanted to not sound like the previous records." Curry says. "We wanted to make a more rock and roll-y record than surf-y. And then were some more elements of soundtracks...there's a couple of (songs) that sound like movie songs... There's a pretty good mix. It's kind of fun sonically. We used everything in the studio at some point."

The Los Straitjackets has been making its brand of raucous, instrumental rock since 1994 and have become known as one of the most dynamic and skillful instrumental bands on the planet. Their renowned live show is filled with mind-bending guitar theatrics, group choreography and fuzzed-out experiments in high fidelity rock and roll showmanship.

And, don't forget the wrestling masks each band member wears onstage. Right before the band's first gig - back when they were still just The Straitjackets - Amis pulled out a bag of wrestling masks he'd bought in Mexico City. The Los Straitjackets were born. In the past few years, this gimmick has been brought full circle as the band's last two gigs in Mexico City have been in front of stadium-sized crowds.

The band's music can also be heard in on soundtracks for TV shows including Malcolm in the Middle and at least 10 feature films, including Meet the Parents, Harriet the Spy, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Two Days in the Valley. They appear as themselves in Psycho Beach Party.

They are also a favorite of NBC funny man Conan O'Brien and have appeared on his Late Night program about a half dozen times, most recently in January to perform "Fortune Cookie," from new album The Further Adventures of the Los Straitjackets.