Too often rock gets prettied up, tamed down and edited for the radio. Although it may be difficult to prove in court, MTV seems largely to blame. This mega-network shifted the focus of Joe Consumer from his ears to his eyes, suddenly requiring musicians to be good looking and talented. As time wore on, actual talent became hard to find, so the network began airing material solely on eye-popping graphics, breasts and choreography suggestive enough to make any high-school show choir director blush. Rock has become tainted and relegated to a byproduct of the video, ironically making music itself a back-seat passenger to fashion and gloss.
Thankfully, there are still a few acts that remember the pure essence of rock: sweat, swagger and plenty of attitude. Matt & The Castronaughts adhere to these simple elements of rock, expertly giving This Ainít No Bay Of Pigs, Momma! miles of jagged and raw charisma.
It could be contemporary music that The Castronaughts are addressing in the rambunctious ďF***iní It Up,Ē easily the best of the discís seven songs. As Matt howls out his lyrics, the three Castronaughts play as if full of kerosene and Pabst: ďYou donít know what you could be, donít even give it a chance / there you go doing the same damn thing / you keep f***iní it up.Ē The song is virtually out of control from the beginning, even threatening to derail. Itís this sort of exuberance, energy and passion for noise that give the Castronaughts instant credibility, regardless of their future commercial success. You can actually hear the venom in Mattís voice, which deftly fronts the playing of Don Juan Montelbon (bass), Chuchito Valdes (guitar) and Rojo Rodriguez (drums).
Other highlights include the staggering lead off track, ďTime To Forget,Ē and the full-throttle grind of ď360ís.Ē Relying largely on Mattís mumbling vox and the bandís explosive energy, ď360ísĒ takes a stab at two-faced scenesters, while ďTime To ForgetĒ contemplates mixed emotions and different states of reality. Both of these tracks show off the Castronaughts muscle, blasting the tunes through overblown amps and peaked out microphones.
Recorded by the legendary recluse Javier Bayouth, Bay Of Pigs vibrates with godly static and beautiful noise, preserving much of the bandís live sound. Itís the perfect production for the raucous Castronaughts, surely one of Fort Wayneís finest, if not prettiest, bands. This Ainít No Bay Of Pigs, Momma! is a powerful shot in the arm to a lethargic scene, full of narcotic bite and toxic charm.
Copyright 2002 Ad Media Inc.