Una Mas - Los Furios
It must be a Canadian thing. Even our punk is polite. Don't get me wrong, Vancouver's original Latin ska punk rockers, Los Furios are full of 'tude, just without the rude. This work hard, party hard independent band has been leaving scorched stages and sweaty smiles in their wake since 2000. Over the years and through half a dozen or so albums/ EPs they've grown to 7 pieces with a new conga player coming online as well, ushering in their latest studio effort, Una Mas (One More), a characteristically Canadian understatement for their strongest set yet; eight crafted and individual expressions of Los Furios' raw power and creative integrity. The Latin punk wave of ska differs from the Jamaican originators like The Skatellites or the later Two-Tone British incarnation popularized by Madness and the Specials and the like. The signature bounce is just part of a greater sonic vibe that combines and alternates spates of punk aggression, reggae one-drop, surf twang and south of the border polyrhythms. If you're looking for influential cues, start with The Clash, fast forward to Sublime and Rancid and then spice it up with shades of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and Pericos and Manu Chao. Los Furios isn't native to the Latin thing but they sure play it like they were born to it; wearing the role like a Lucha Libra wrestling mask. Crafty songsmith, Kyle Fury even delivers his version of a Narco Corrido or drug ballad on Vaya con Dios. The narco corrido-style of Norteno sprung up in the darkness of Northern Mexico's bloody drug wars. Una Mas opens with the English version of the title and closes with a Spanish reprise. The disc is lean so you'll only find the best stuff in the middle. Fury's ode to peaceful globalization sets the tone for the anthemic 'No Borders No Flags', 'Cantina' portrays the dust and lust of a Robert Rodriguez-style roadside watering hole. And, if you're a surf punk fan you'll totally dig the in-your-face instrumental, 'Tsunami'. Spend some quality time with Una Mas until the songs are etched on your brain like the ear-worms they are. Then catch Los Furios live if you can!